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The combination of economic fragility and national insecurity is deadly for any nation. When a country’s economy is weak, unattractive for private investment and prone to shocks with little resilience, the last thing it needs is to be gripped by violence. Insecurity would, to say the least, cripple that country’s economy.
Sadly, that’s Nigeria’s situation today. By common consent, Nigeria’s economy is extremely weak and volatile, entirely susceptible to the vagaries of world oil prices and the predilections of foreign investors. Yet, its policy and regulatory environments are acutely unattractive for private investment and business growth. To make matters worse, Nigeria faces multiple, almost perpetual, threats from organised non-state violence.
In a report on state fragility, the London-based International Growth Centre, jointly run by Oxford University and the London School of Economics, noted that “Lack of security lies at the heart of fragility”, adding that: “Fragile states are ill-equipped to respond effectively to security threats. Citizens are therefore exposed to personal risks from violence”. That, precisely, is the current situation in Nigeria, with the spread and impunity of Boko Haram, the marauding herdsmen and the rampaging activities of bandits, kidnappers, cultists, suicide bombers and other violent groups.
Of course, this has been going on for several years, but things were supposed to be different under the administration President Muhammadu Buhari, who came to power on a firm promise to tackle the insecurity in the country and make Nigeria safer. During the 2015 presidential election, Buhari, a former military dictator, lambasted the then president, Goodluck Jonathan, for failing to show leadership in fighting insecurity, and vowed that, if elected, he would “spare no effort” to defeat terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria. After winning the election, Buhari devoted much of his first press conference to the issue. … Read More...