23 Oct

The week ahead – It’s the economy…

Nigeria’s security, economic and political environments continue to face all manner of uncertainty. The Senate has so far cleared about eighteen ministerial nominees but the President Buhari seems not to be in a hurry to assign portfolios, leaving citizens and investors worried about the future strategic direction of the country. Five months into the administration’s tenure, little has been communicated about economic policy.

The Senate on their part, suspended the screening of ministerial nominees and plenary to Thursday, and almost 80 senators were on hand to accompany the Senate President to his trial at the Code of Conduct Bureau Tribunal.

The Debt Management Office says Nigeria’s external debt stands at $11billion, while the Nigerian Governors Forum painted a gloomy picture of the economy for next year and averred that most states may not survive the current economic downturn.

This week was very challenging for Nigeria’s security services especially in the North Eastern part of the country. Elements suspected to be members of Boko Haram carried out multiple suicide attacks at a Maiduguri Mosque, killing dozens and injuring several people. Amongst the assailants were female suicide bombers between the age of 9 and 12.

President Buhari met with the service chiefs to review the current security situation in the country, especially the on-going war against Islamists in the North East, and the mandate given to them to end the insurgency by December.

The Borno state government, few days ago, stated they will close all Internally Displaced Persons camps by the 1st Quarter of 2016. This, they said, is to, ensure all IDPs are properly resettled into communities to resume normal lives.

Meanwhile, in a week where SBM Intelligence released a report about farmer/herdsmen violence, the Fulani community in the South West says they have resolved to embark on registration of members and cattle in order to isolate criminal elements amongst them. They solicited the support of host communities to make the exercise a success in view of the frequent clashes between the herdsmen and farmers, and also the activities of some Fulani that are criminal in nature.

In Kano, the police arrested over 70 cattle rustlers and recovered more than 800 cattle. The Governor remarked that the Fulani are themselves guilty of rustling as all felons arrested to date are of Fulani origin. The Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi called for death sentence of the thieves.

In Lagos, the police, have embarked on raids on some selected criminal hideouts and spots within the state. This is coming on the heels of rampant muggings, kidnapping and armed robbery that has been occurring in the state.

The Nigerian Army has announced probe into the activities of soldiers at the Osun and Ekiti state poll. Recall, there was an audio that surfaced in the media about the discussion between some military officials and politicians on the prospect of compromising the Ekiti poll.

The infrastructure deficit in the country manifested itself at Jebba federal highway, a major link from the Southern part of Nigeria to the Northern part. The road has been washed off, and made impassable, leaving motorists unable to move for days. Most of the transporters and commuters complain of insecurity and general state of lawless.

A recent survey released by a travel website, Sleeping In Airport, ranked Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt as some of the worst in Africa in terms of corruption, confusion, crowds, chaos and total lack of cleanliness. A recent report by SBM Intelligence had highlighted the frightening security gaps at the Lagos International Airport.

The National Identity Management Centre has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Central Bank of Nigeria for the takeover of the Bank Verification Number data. It follows a recent directive by the president that all federal government data collecting agencies like FRSC, INEC and Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, to hand over their data to NIMC for consolidation in order to create a central data system for the Nigerian state.

COUNSEL

  • Bomb blasts such as the one which recently occurred at the Maiduguri are bound to continue across the North East region if urgent proactive measures are not set up a counter terrorism intelligence operations against Boko Haram.
  • The deadline for the end of the Boko Haram insurgency being reinforced by the security chiefs is unnecessary and unwarranted. The manner of the insurgency and terror has both foreign and local support network, and the current government cannot end it with deadlines and timelines like the previous government.
  • Noteworthy for the Borno state government to resettle the IDPs back to their communities, but care must be shown to provide them with adequate security and basic needs. Failure to design  a blue print for resettlement is bound to spell doom.
  • The quest by the Fulani community in the South West to embark on registration of members is not going to solve the problem of herdsmen and farmers. The FG needs to own the intractable crises and find a solution.
    The arrest of over 70 Fulani cattle rustlers confirms the position of those that believe there are elements of the ethnic group that engage in criminal ventures, raping, maiming and killing at random, mostly in the North Central.
  • The Nigerian Police’s  Lagos Command is not being proactive with the raids carried out recently. They need to work with the state government to end the current spate of insecurity in Lagos.
  • External debt is steadily rising, leading citizens to ask what was done with the funds. Furthermore, state governors who constitute majority of the debtors on behalf of Nigeria seem clueless on how to even turn around states under the current economic crises.
  • The Nigerian Senate is perhaps the most underperforming organ of government since 1999. It’s “distinguished” inhabitants have spent trillions of Naira on themselves, added no value to citizens, and compromised their oversight functions. The charade at the Code of Conduct Tribunaland abandonment of plenary for the personal cause of their leader is highly regrettable and shameful.
  • The merger of all data collecting agencies in Nigeria can assist the security agencies to fight crime.
  • It is thoughtful of the Nigerian Army to have constituted a board of inquiry to look into the aspects of soldier’s participation in the Ekiti and Osun poll.