FORMER Minister of Agriculture and Chairman of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) Audu Ogbeh has said that Nigeria’s insecurity is primarily caused by poor state of the nation’s economy.
Ogbeh said this on Wednesday when he featured as a panellist in a webinar organised by The ICIR entitled, ‘Solving Nigeria’s Security Conundrum: A Pan-Nigerian approach.’
“We as a people, especially Africans, have one major problem, which I think tends to prevent us from analysing our problems very concretely on alienation and discriminations and the need to amend the constitutions. But there is something that virtually everyone seems to forget, what is the state of the nation’s economy?” Ogbeh asked.
The former minister said for over two to three decades, the value of naira had continued to be devalued while industries had also collapsed. Naira currently exchanges at N410-N415/$ as against less than N200/$ pre-2015.
Ogbeh said hundreds of industries had collapsed across the South-East, South-West and northern parts of Nigeria in the last three decades.
Ogbeh also said that a recent profile of imports and exports showed that Nigeria spent N40 trillion on imports and N4 trillion on exports.
“We’ve become a nation of importers of everything. Just two days ago, they gave a profile of imports, N40 trillion on imports and N4 trillion on exports. No country can survive by merely importing only and not finding enough foreign exchange to pay and hope to have happiness in the land,” the former minister said.
He said apart from the herder-farmer crisis, the Nigerian youth were also responsible for the insecurity crisis because the government had failed to provide jobs.
Ogbeh argued that the youths had now resorted to criminalities due to the lack of jobs and the state of the economy.
“How did the youths become problems in the society? They have nothing to do, they have no jobs, they have no hope… There are those who sell human spare parts, there are those who kidnap children in the forest, there are those who believe that if you can kidnap and make N5 million, it is a justifiable way of raising enough money to start your own business,” he said.