The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has warned that the worsening security situation across Nigeria may spell economic doom for the country, if not urgently addressed.
The President, LCCI, Mrs Toki Mabogunje stated that the crisis has crippled many private and public investments across the nation. According to her, several businesses and investors in affected areas are currently counting their losses. Many households have lost their means of livelihoods, while some have been displaced. Many households have lost their means of livelihoods, while some have been displaced.
READ ALSO: FirstBank Appoints Gbenga Shobo as MD/CEO
Mabogunje said that the destruction of farmlands across the country has continued to disrupt agricultural sector while piling pressure on food inflation.
She noted: “These have severe implications for food production and food distribution from farms to markets. We recognize insecurity as a major driver of the persistent increase in food inflation in recent years. The worsening security situation will trigger further inflationary pressure on food prices thus exacerbating the poverty conditions in the country.
“This alarming state of insecurity in the country has hampered the movement of goods, services, and persons across the country, with implications for agriculture, agro-allied services, trade and commerce especially in affected areas.”
She further stated that the crisis projects the Nigerian economy as an unsafe investment destination, and if unaddressed, would thwart government’s efforts in encouraging private investment inflows into the economy at a time the economy is in dire need of massive investments to bolster growth recovery, create jobs and alleviate poverty.
Mabogunje said, “The worsening security situation also impacts the fiscal position of government by making policy makers incur unplanned (unbudgeted) security-related expenditure at the detriment of infrastructural development expenditure. This could worsen 2021 actual fiscal deficit levels amid fragility in revenue growth from oil and non-oil sources.”
The LCCI therefore calls for decentralisation of the nation’s security ecosystem. “We believe decentralizing the security eco-system would help stem the rising tide as it enables other levels of government take key security-related decisions and initiatives within their domain.
LCCI also enjoins the executive arm of government to liaise with the legislative arm to take security out of the exclusive list of the Nigerian Constitution and include it in the concurrent list.
“The sub nationals need to play more active roles in the restoration of peace in our country through the creation of a security machinery and architecture that would be controlled by them, subject of course to certain guidelines, especially regarding the rules of engagement,” Mabogunje stated.