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PROJECT TOPIC AND MATERIAL ON IMPACT OF INSECURITY ON THE EXECUTION OF GOVERNMENT POLICIES IN THE NORTH-EAST
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- Name: IMPACT OF INSECURITY ON THE EXECUTION OF GOVERNMENT POLICIES IN THE NORTH-EAST
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1.1: Problem Statement
Issues bordering on national security are very critical for the material progress of any polity. This assertion is against the backdrop of the truism that sustainable development is a function of an enabling environment. Many variables would be examined in this regard. Hutchful (2002) opines that pivotal to the survival of any society is its law and order which are predicated on national security. Insecurity leaves in its wake tales of woe which the country and its citizens have had to contend with over the years. Every society across the globe has its peculiar problems and challenges. Nigeria is not an exception. As a developing country, she faces her own share of social, political, economic and cultural problems which has in no small measure affected the well-being of the populace (Adebayo, 2013a).
With a population of about 165 million, Nigeria is Africa’s largest country in terms of demographic size. With a GDP of US$415 billion, it is the second largest economy after South Africa. Nigeria holds the record for being the largest oil producer on the continent and the sixth in OPEC. The country is well endowed with petroleum, gas and yet-untapped mineral resources. Its agricultural potentials are considerable, although the country remains a net importer of food. Over the last decade, growth has averaged 7.4% and is projected to be 6.9% by year’s end 2012 (ADB, 2012).
Political, economic and social insecurity of a country encompasses all development goals and issues being the root of the issue and the solution. Addressing issues of insecurity is crucial in order to execute successful development projects. As a goal, it believed that every country should aspire to reach a point of security by protecting its citizens from structural violence, crime, and social insecurity. Indeed, without the safety of citizens, all plans for development, whether economic, political or social, will fail. Insecurity is a phenomenon that is bedevilling various countries across the globe in varying degrees as it affects policies and development. Any nation striving towards development must reduce the frequency of crime to the barest minimum. In recent years in Nigeria, there has been an upsurge in the frequency of crime committed. The problem of insecurity which used to be one of the lowest in the hierarchy of social problems facing the country seems to have assumed alarming proportions since the end of the Nigerian civil war which ended in 1970.
During the pre-colonial and colonial era, insecurity was merely handled by the Federal Government utilizing the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Nigeria Police Force. The magnitude of insecurity in Nigeria has become so grave that the Army, Police Force, Air Force, Directorate of State Security etc have all been drafted into maintaining internal security. This has led to palpable fear among the populace as security of lives and properties can no longer be guaranteed. The phenomenon of crime has impacted negatively on the economic, social and political life of the nation over time (Adebayo,
The emergence of Boko Haram insurgency has introduced a terrorist dimension, hitherto unknown, into the criminal space in Nigeria. Series of bombings have been carried out by the sect, as well as taking hostage of innocent citizens. Even the United Nations Building in Abuja was not spared in the bombing spree. In rich as well as poor countries, terrorism exerts a heavy toll on national economies. It is inevitable that the economic impact of terrorism would be more felt in unsophisticated mono-cultural low-income economies than they would be felt in highly advanced, diversified industrial economies. Therefore, the continued rise in insecurity in the country, if not checked, may result in greater investor apathy for the country and resulting in low inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and would make institutional investors look for other stable economies to invest their money. On the state of the country, when people feel insecure, their appetite to invest, to buy or rent from the product of investment reduces; and that is why all over the world, any country that radiates an environment of insecurity naturally repels investment initiatives from both the international community and its own local investors. Hence, crime is a threat to the economic, political and social security of a nation and a major factor associated with underdevelopment; because it discourages both local and foreign investments, reduces the quality of life, destroys human and social capital, damages relationship between citizens and the states, thus undermining democracy, rule of law and the ability of the country to promote development (Adebayo, 2013b).
Over the few years, Boko Haram has created widespread insecurity across northern Nigeria, increased tensions between various ethnic communities, interrupted development activities, frightened off investors, and generated concerns among Nigeria’s northern neighbours. They have been responsible for near daily attacks in Borno and Yobe states And they were behind the January 20 attack in Kano that killed nearly 200 people and three major attacks in Abuja, including the bombing of the UN headquarters in August 2012. Boko Haram’s attacks on churches and mosques are particularly disturbing because they are intended to inflame religious tensions and upset the nation’s social cohesion (Eme, et. al, 2012).
1.1.1: Research questions
- What is the impact on insecurity on the execution of government policies in the North-East?
- To what extent does insecurity in the North-East affect government policy execution?
1.1.2: Objectives/Purpose of study
The purpose of this study is to determine the impact of insecurity on execution of government policies in the North-East. Specifically the study will aim to;
- To understand major drivers of insecurity in the states.
- To identify the gaps in governance and security in the states.
1.2: Significance and Justification of study
Recently, Nigeria was ranked in 14th in the list of the most failed states in the world out of the 177 countries considered in the ranking by the Fund for Peace, an American independent non-profit research and educational organisation that works to prevent violent conflicts and promote sustainable security in the world. When the pillar of national security is weak, the structure quivers and sends sensations to the occupiers and potential occupiers of such structures. This is the case with the Nigerian entity, where insecurity and unrelenting violence by several groups in the country have continued to pose a threat to the nation’s economy and investments.
In the wake of the crisis in the country, many international agencies and countries began to issue travel warnings to their citizens about the dangers involved in travelling and doing business in some parts of the country. Precisely, the United States warned American citizens of the risks of coming to Nigeria, with particular emphasis to Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers, Abia, Edo, Imo, Jos, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe and Borno states; and the Gulf of Guinea (Carson, 2012), and this has grave consequences for the development of the country.
Terrorism has always had huge financial implications and burden to the affected country. For example, it has been estimated that the city of New York alone lost US$21 billion as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. With the establishment of the Homeland Security, the US Government now has to spend a whopping US$500 billion on security alone. Globally, it has also been calculated that world GDP decreased by a whopping US$3.6 trillion in 2002 as a direct and indirect consequence of terrorist activities in 2001. This amount can be put in perspective when we realise it amounts to a third of the GDP of the United States and exceeds the combined GDP of Argentina, Italy and Britain. Another area of economic cost relates to the impact of terrorism on international trade supply chains, i.e. the sequence of steps that global suppliers of goods take to get products from one area to another (Mailafia, 2013). In a similar way, the budget of N921.91 billion earmarked to combat terrorism in Nigeria in the year 2012 alone, could have been deployed to development programmes that the nation desperately need.
Apart from the economic and monetary costs associated with terrorism, there are also social and psychological costs. Terrorism erodes inter-communal trust and destroys the reservoir of social capital that is so vital to building harmonious societies and pooling together community energies for national development. The attendant proliferation of
small arms and the militarization of society results in a vicious cycle of violence which hampers national cohesion and stability. The long-term impact of such violence on cities and regions is best exemplified by the impoverishment that has affected Kaduna and Jos. Kaduna used to be one of the most prosperous cities in Nigeria. It was in many ways the industrial hub of the North, a cosmopolitan city with over a dozen textile firms and prosperous trading companies. The Kaduna of today is a tragically divided city in which Muslims live predominantly in the North and Christians predominantly in the South. All the textiles companies have shut down and most investors have packed up their businesses. The Jos Plateau is following a similar trend, as it loses its cosmopolitanism and local economies are destroyed. The tragedy is that the collapse of local economies and the erosion of social capital reinforce a downward spiral of further impoverishment, which in itself sows the seeds of further conflict.
For most of the north, the ongoing insurgency has had a significant negative impact on the regional economy. Lebanese and Indian expatriates who have established businesses in Kano going back decades have relocated to Abuja and the south. A good number have left the country altogether. Hotels, banks and other business sectors have witnessed significant reductions in their activities. The border towns that have thrived on trade with neighbouring countries have also seen their businesses curtailed because of increasing restrictions on cross-border traffic. In Kano alone, an estimated 126 industries have recently closed down (Sunday Trust, 2012). Another trend is the massive movement of southerners from the north, many of them SME operators and professionals. Boko Haram insurgency and terrorism is a bad signal to foreign investors. Economic experts have described President Goodluck Jonathan’s economic reform as an effort that may yield no results due to the insecurity in Nigeria.
Various studies have shown the impact of insecurity, terrorism and insurgence on the socio-economic development of the region and nations affected but no study have shown the impact of these phenomenoms on the execution of government policies. The present study will try to enlighten the general public on the impact insecurity has in the execution of government policies in the North-East.
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