The Federal Government has call on the corporate world to be part of the fight against insecurity in the country so as to ensure a safe and secure environment for all where economic activities could thrive unhindered.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha who made this call in Lagos on Tuesday at the fourth edition of “Security Meets Business” dialogue organized by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said this they could do by ensuring that they enthrone clearly defined job security policies as government alone cannot provide employment for all Nigerians.
Represented by Dr. Amina Shanaki of the Special Services Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mustapha who earlier observed that unemployment was one of the root causes of insecurity in the country, however, maintained that Nigerians believed that only government jobs could suffice especially as it relates to job security, arguing that the corporate world could assist by swaying notions away from this stereotype.
He listed other areas the corporate world could assist in tackling insurgency in Nigeria to include but, not limited to; enhancing the competitiveness of the Nigerian industry; evolving robust policies that would adequately address the mortality rate of business concerns especially, SMEs; evolving robust policies to encourage and guarantee successes of Partnerships, Equity Angels, Joint Ventures, Franchises, among others;
Others include; evolving policies that should accelerate the movement of business entities from the informal to the formal sector; as well as pursuing the prescriptions of the Africa Productive Capacity Initiative (APCI) adopted more than a decade ago by the then Conference of African Ministers of Industry (CAMI), African Union and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to facilitate the development of the manufacturing capacity and for that reason, Nigeria’s capacity for international trade negotiations.
He disclosed that as insurgency, terrorism, banditry, among other crimes, linger, government had considered and still considering different approaches to frontally, and decisively deal with all forms of security challenges in the country with a view to enhancing the nation’s capabilities and capacities in Internal Security Management and Security Operations.
He listed them to include; “Increased reliance on technology – Inter-Ministerial Committee to advise on the appropriate application of Science, Technology and Innovation in the Security Sector is underway. This will define and determine a lot of issues regarding, forensics, satellite imagery, geo-positing, Unmanned Ariel Vehicles, Surveillance, Database, Emergency Calls, CCTV, etc, Increased Funding – By the time the operationalization of the provisions of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund is attained, some of the funding challenges facing the Police Force and Internal Security, would have been addressed adequately and this will improve its operational capabilities, Adaptability – As the war against insurgency and terrorism are asymmetric in nature, the Police authorities have been directed to reorganize, strengthen and upgrade the operational capacities of the Police Mobile Force to deal with such contemporary, emergent and future dimensions of security challenges.
Others according to him are; Influx of illegal Weapons – Government is working hard to realize the establishment of a Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons in line with ECOWAS Protocol instead of the current Committee arrangement. By the way, other countries in the Sub-Region have already upgraded their Commissions from Light Weapons to all-encompassing Firearms Commission. We must tow the same path, Policy Framework – Government is in the process of developing an Internal Security Policy and Strategy and this will be robust and comprehensive and should provide the direction/guidelines on how each Internal Security challenge should be adequately tackled with levels of responsibilities.
Concluding, the SGF re-iterated that the determination to tackle insecurity required the cooperation of all adding that every member of the society had his or her level of responsibility, some to volunteer information, some to provide counselling and some to engage in the theatre of the war itself.
He continued, “Above all, we must all resort to our moral and religious, socio-cultural values which will make all of us protect the sanctity of the human life, abhor immoral and irresponsible behaviours and live up to our responsibility of raising good members of the society. Once our societies are populated with good moral and religious behaviours, the fight against insecurity will be easier to win. Once absolute peace is restored, the atmosphere will be created for our youth to unleash their creative potentials and the economy will grow at exponential rate.”
Earlier in her welcome remarks, the President of LCCI, Mrs. Toki Mabogunje posited that business cannot thrive in environment that was unsafe or perceived as insecure while contending that security of life and property was a critical factor in the investment decisions even as she described it as a major risk assessment variable for investment.
She noted that the country continued to contend with intractable security challenges bothering on insurgency attacks by Boko Haram terrorists, killings by armed banditry, herdsmen/farmers clashes, religious and ethnic crisis, kidnapping for ransom, armed robbery and cultism saying “these security challenges are widespread and experienced in practically all geopolitical zones and regions in the country and the impact on economic activities has been negative and profound.”
Mabogunje continued, “Insecurity erodes business and investors’ confidence resulting in disruption of domestic supply chains and weakening of capital formation required to drive significant economic growth.
“Global ranking for Nigeria in the area of security gives cause for concern. Nigeria was ranked 148th out of 163 countries on the Global Peace Index (GPI) 2019 and was placed among the five least peaceful countries in sub-Saharan Africa along with violence-ridden countries such as Somalia, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic. In comparison with 2018 ranking, there was no improvement in our global security perception. This outcome naturally makes it more challenging for us as a country to attract new investment and grow the economy.”
While acknowledging the efforts of the federal government to ensure adequate security for all and sundry, she however buttressed that a lot more was still needed to be done.
“As a promoter of private enterprise, it is our firm belief that we must continue to adopt innovative ways to address legacy and emerging security issues. I would like to express my profound appreciation to the security agencies that have agreed to be part of this conversation – the Armed Forces, the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies. . I thank the Federal Government of Nigeria, the leadership of security agencies, heads of MDAs and their representatives here present.
“Finally, I would like to appreciate the members of the business community here present for coming to share their perspectives on the current security situation in our country. I urge you all to listen attentively to the various presentations and to actively participate in the interactive sessions”, concluded.
Photo: Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha.
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