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Insecurity: Drugs, unemployment, justice reform top Buhari’s meeting with security chiefs2mins read


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THE Nigerian government has agreed to address the menace of drug abuse, unemployment and criminal justice system reforms to tackle growing insecurity in the country.

These were parts of the resolutions reached during a meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and security chiefs at the State House on Tuesday.

National Security Adviser (NSA) Babagana Monguno, who briefed newsmen at the end of the meeting, said Buhari’s administration had approved steps that would help in mitigating the worsening insecurity in the country in the last one month.

“On my part, I briefed the council on the enablers of crime and the need to find quick responses with a view to mitigating the growing threats to society,” he said.

“These enablers are discussed in detail and Mr President has already given direction on how to deal with them, specifically issues of drug abuse as propellants for crime, how to make the criminal justice system much more effective, as well as looking at issues of unemployment, which, of course, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had given approval, through previous memos, on how to get 100 million people out of poverty.

“Already, the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) has been given certain instructions on how to deal with this, but by and by, the council has agreed that the level of insecurity in the country, especially in the last one month, is something that has to be addressed with the immediacy that it requires.

“And at the operational level, of course, the chief of defence staff has been working with the service chiefs and the recommendations they’ve made to the council are already being handled.”

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In March, Senate President Ahmed Lawan had blamed the country’s insecurity problems on the activities of some drug barons.

Lawan, who stated this when he hosted the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Buba Marwa, had noted that the barons provided funds and ammunition to insurgent groups such as Boko Haram, bandits, kidnappers, and other groups terrorising the country.

While calling for collaborative efforts among all security agencies to enhance border security, Lawan decried the rate of drug abuse among youths.

In April, the NDLEA arrested a Chadian, Adama Uomar Issa, who allegedly supplied illicit drugs to Boko Haram insurgents.

Unemployment

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria’s unemployment rate as of the end of 2020 rose to 33 per cent, from 27.1 per cent recorded in second quarter (Q2) of 2020, indicating that about 23.2 million Nigerians were unemployed.

The report shows that the estimated number of persons in the economically active or working-age population (15 – 64 years of age) during the reference period of the survey, Q4, 2020, was 12.2 million.

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A combination of both the unemployment and underemployment rate for the reference period gave a figure of 56.1 per cent. This means that 33.3 per cent of the labour force in Nigeria or 23.2 million persons either did nothing or worked for less than 20 hours a week, making them unemployed by  in Nigeria’s definitiona.

Experts have continued to advocate a holistic reform in the nation’s justice system to facilitate a flexible and quick justice delivery.

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