Discussants at the 2019 Annual Conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers, GOCOP, which is the third in the series have expressed deep concern over rising violent crime across the country which they identified as impacting economic development of the country.
According to Mr Mike Ejiofor, a former Director General of the Department of State Service (DSS), without adequate security there would be no meaningful economic development.
Ejiofor pointedly said that “security is not negotiable for any nation that wants its economy to thrive.”
According to him, if there is no security, there can’t be solid foundation for economic growth and development, stressing that nobody will invest in an environment that is not secured.
Ejiofor lamented the presence of cabal that hijack successive governments.
In his words, “The truth remains that people hijack leadership in every government because every government as its own cabal but it’s more pronounced in this government.”
Ejiofor noted that kidnapping, banditry and Boko Haram have aggravated insecurity across Nigeria, contributing to relocation of big businesses out of Nigeria hence, massive loss of jobs.
Profering the way forward, the former boss of the DSS advocates good leadership, stressing that leaders must live by example.
He also enjoined the leadership to come up with deliberate polices to eradicate
poverty, unemployment, injustice to aid improvement in security situation, adding “It is our collective responsibility to make Nigeria work.”
Ejiofor while congratulating GOCOP for its commitment to sanitising the online space, saying the “Greatest challenge in the country is fake news” that must be fought by credible online media practitioners.
In his submission Prof Akpan Ekpo, a former DG, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management also posited that there can’t be meaningful growth and economic development if there is no security.
He noted that unemployment and underemployment are major causes of insecurity.
While submitting that security issue is a function of leadership and followership, Prof Expo, who was represented by Prof Omotor, charged the government of the day to put things in proper perspective to get the security issue right.
The Guest Speaker, Dr Mathew Hassan Kukah, Bishop of Sokoto Catholic Diocese during the conference delivered a speech on the theme ‘Economy, Security And National Development: The Way Forward
Kukah blamed successive administrations for systemic distruction of national policies
The Bishop accused successive administrations of ‘systematic destruction of national policies’.
The Cleric declared that the systematic destruction of policies by Nigerian leaders was responsible for insecurity in the country.
“From the presidency to councils, there is a general belief that things are not working in the country. Of course, efforts are being made to address insecurity but things are not working. When things are not working, the economy will not develop.
“We have a situation in which so much opportunity is seen beside so much poverty. That is a tragedy.
“We are pretty clear about our situation. Our situation is not about APC or PDP. It is about the collective interest of Nigeria.
“Since 1982 when I met former President Shehu Shagari, I have met every leader except General Sani Abacha for reasons best known to me. There is no Nigerian leader that Nigerians do not hate. That says something about our system”.
He also accused the military of truncating democracy by not returning to barracks after the civil war ended in 1970.
“If the military had returned to the barracks in 1970 after the civil war, things would have been better. The decision by the military to stay after the civil war decapitated the Nigerian political class.
“The military left in 1979, came back in 1983 and eventually left in 1999. By the time it left in 1999, all the patriotic politicians had grown old. That is why we have some young people who do not have second address in politics today”.
To boost the economy, he advised members of the National Assembly to give up half of their salaries running into millions of naira.
To him, if that is done, thousands of Nigerians would be employed at N92, 000 per month.