It is now crucial for Nigeria to prioritize the reduction of insecurity to the lowest possible level in order to fully benefit from the domestic economic initiatives of the new administration and the renewed international diplomatic and economic stance of the Tinubu’s government. The need for this has become imperative following the enthusiasm generated by President Tinubu’s recent attendance at the G20 summit in India and trip to the United Arab Emirates to address the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) between the two countries, which was affected by the suspension of travel visas to Nigerians and the flight suspension of Emirates airlines to Nigeria.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
While the government’s efforts to harmonize the foreign exchange rate and remove fuel subsidy have been applauded by local and international economists and analysts, it is essential for the government to simultaneously address the security situation in the country in a more serious and strategic manner.
Starting from the first reported case of armed robbery in Nigeria by the Oyenusi gang in the early 1970s to the activities of the Maitasine bandits in the 1980s and 1990s, armed banditries which hitherto was on the increase and prevalent in the northeast region of the country, has now spread to other parts of the country.
This phenomenon has been exacerbated by the destabilization of governments in Libya and Iraq, including the overthrow of Muammer Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein. In the 2000s, insecurity took on a new turn in the form of Boko Haram, IPSWA, kidnapping and Farmers-Herders clashes.
To effectively tackle insecurity and provide assurance to foreign investors regarding their personal safety and security, it ihas now become urgent to reposition the Nigerian police, the DSS, and other security agencies towards preemptive and crime preventive services. These security services should undergo comprehensive training, retraining, and be equipped and resourced adequately. A new approach that incorporates international best practices in policing, crime prevention, and enforcement is necessary.
Furthermore, in order to promote the Ease of Doing Business initiative, Nigeria must go beyond mere slogans and address the obstacles that hinder business operations in the country. This includes rebranding the country, improving services in embassies and high commissions related to visa issuance and information management. It is crucial to decentralize activities from Lagos and Abuja, develop more international airports of international standards, and decentralize the corporate affairs commission. Every Nigerian should embrace the role of a marketer for a New Nigeria that is prepared and open for business. Additionally, cybercrimes and advanced fee fraud (also known as 419) must be strongly addressed.
Once these issues have been effectively addressed, Nigeria will be on its way to achieving the greatness it is destined for and has the potential to achieve. As I always say, “There is no Nigerian way of flying a Boeing 747…”
Sonny Iroche is a 2022/2023 Senior Academic Visitor at the African Studies Centre of the University of Oxford. And a Financial and Infrastructure Consultant