Insecurity Crippling Economy, Worsening Unemployment – LCCI
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said the insecurity challenge in the country is crippling economic activities and making the unemployment rate worse.
At the chamber’s 2021 edition of the Security Meets Business Conference in Lagos, the President, Mrs Toki Mabogunje, said despite the government allocating N878bn in 2020 and N840.56bn in 2021 to defence expenditure in the Appropriation Acts, the security situation in the country had not fared better.
She said, “This vote of resources to defence operations show the commitment of the government to making Nigeria a safer and more peaceful nation.
“Despite these efforts, the security situation in our nation is still a narrative of challenges, apprehension, anxiety, disrupted supply chains, and increasing economic cost from the impact of insecurity.
According to her, insecurity and armed conflict results in deaths and injuries, paralysis of economic activities, GDP losses, cost of peace-building and peacekeeping activities and refugees and IDP camps.
Citing data from the 2020 Global Peace Index by the Institute of Economics and Peace, Mabogunje said the economic impact of violence increased in 2019 to a total of $453.1bn or $433 for each person in sub-Saharan Africa. She said, “Insecurity does not only impact society, but it also reduces the positive benefits that security and peace bring to the macroeconomic performance of countries.
“Since 2000, countries that have improved in security and peace have seen an average 1.4 percentage points higher GDP per capita growth when compared to countries that have become less peaceful as measured by the Global Peace Index.”
She said the average inflation and unemployment rate for the countries with the largest security improvements were substantially lower than those with the largest deterioration.
Mabogunje advised that for the government to achieve better results in tackling insecurity, a key turning point should be to understand the causes of insecurity as well as to investigate the sources of social disorder and instability.
She noted that it was necessary to distinguish between the different causes as they might require different approaches.
She explained that the high level of unemployment and poverty among Nigerians, especially the youths, might have resulted in criminal acts.
She said the failure to address challenges of poverty, unemployment, and business failures was one of the factors causing insecurity in the country.
Mabogunje said, “There is a need for collective and integrative security architecture by the federal, state, and local governments in Nigeria. This arrangement should produce a strong and coordinated presence at the village, community, local, state, and federal levels with the responsibility of providing sensitive security information for security agencies in their areas of operation.
“This will assist in identifying criminals, their sponsors, and hideouts in the country. We urge the government to sustain the needed funding for defence operations to equip the military with advanced weaponry and intelligence infrastructure. These should be supported by heavy deployment of modern military intelligence technologies.”