Insecurity: Fresh Concerns Triggered - Matrixliveng
Insecurity: Fresh Concerns Triggered
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Insecurity: Fresh Concerns Triggered

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  • IMF Raises Concern Over Deteriorating Security
  • Buhari Says His Administration Has Done Well In Tackling Insecurity

Fresh concerns have been triggered regarding Nigeria’s worsening level of insecurity.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has expressed concern over the deteriorating level of security conditions in Nigeria, stressing that it was contributing to the subdued Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures in the country.

It also listed other downside risks in the near-term to include the elections, low vaccination against Covid-19 and higher global interest rates.

The Washington-based institution made these known in an end-of-mission statement on Wednesday, at the end of its staff visit to Nigeria. It revealed that an IMF team led by the Country Director, Ms Jesmin Rahman, held meetings with Nigerian authorities from June 6th to 10th, 2022, to discuss recent economic and financial developments and the economic outlook for the country.

The fund in the statement noted that Nigeria’s economic recovery continued to gain strength on the back of services and agriculture with GDP growth reaching 3.6 percent (y/y) in the first quarter of 2022.

It stated that inflation reached 17.7 percent (y/y) in May led by a renewed surge in food prices, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, and raising food security concerns as over 40 per cent of the population live below the poverty line.

“To contain inflationary pressures, the Central Bank of Nigeria has recently hiked its monetary policy rate by 150 basis points to 13 per cent.

“Regarding the external sector, the current account deficit narrowed significantly in 2021 helped by import compression and higher net oil balance. However, the improving trade balance, which has continued so far in 2022, is having a limited impact on forex strains with the exchange rate premiums in the parallel market staying in the 35-40 percent range since October 2021,” it added.

According to the IMF, despite supportive oil prices, the country’s gross FX reserves fell to $38.6 billion at the end-May of 2022, having reached $41.5 billion in September 2021 boosted by SDR allocation and Eurobond issuance.

“Regarding the economic outlook, GDP growth is projected at 3.4 percent (y/y) in 2022 while inflation is expected to remain elevated. The fiscal deficit of the Consolidated Government is expected to remain high at 6.1 percent of GDP due in great measure to costly petrol subsidies and limited tax revenue collections.

“Downside risks to the near-term arise from further deterioration of security conditions, elections, low vaccination against Covid-19 and higher global interest rates. On the upside, steady private sector recovery and further broadening of growth, the start of operations at the Dangote refinery and decisive steps to mobilize revenues, in line with the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative (SRGI) could spur inclusive growth and development.

“The IMF mission would like to thank the authorities and other counterparts for the open and thoughtful discussions and excellent cooperation,” it added.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that his administration has recorded meaningful impact with measurable results in the areas of security, economy and corruption.

Buhari, at the Passing Out Parade of the Regular Course 4/2016 Cadets of the Nigeria Police Academy, Wudil, Kano noted that policies and actions of the government made an impact on the tripod vision, in spite of challenges, assuring that more will still be done to safeguard lives and property, enhance livelihood and ensure probity.

“This administration has also focused on security by repositioning our national security to perform their duties effectively. We have equally embarked on some crucial changes in their funding, structure, and modes of operation. With the launching/empowerment of the Police Trust Fund, this administration swung into action after taking the assessment of needs for possible interventions in the provision of logistics and infrastructural needs of the Force,’’ he said.

In a fast-changing world, driven by digital technology, President Buhari said the Nigeria Police must continually evolve its structure and operations to make a greater impact in checking crime, particularly in the virtual space.

“In a world where insecurity is constantly evolving; law enforcement responses have to equally evolve not just to keep up but to stay ahead. Also, as part of efforts to modernize the Nigeria Police Force, this Administration has intensified both international and local training and retraining of our officers and men in addition to providing new platforms and other resources.

“These approaches have yielded positive results as it is glaring that Nigeria’s ranking has improved on the world Counter-Terrorism global index from 4th to 6th position on the list of the most terrorized nations.

“This administration has signed into law the new Police Act to ensure an improvement in the welfare of service delivery to meet best international practices. As I said earlier, with the take-off of The Police Trust Fund, there has been an upgrade of infrastructure such as the construction of new barracks across the country, renovation of existing ones, construction of medical facilities, as well as procurement of modern operational vehicles.”

According to the President, the Boko Haram insurgency, the Indigenous People of Biafra, Eastern Security Network, and banditry in some parts of the country over time, which posed a potent threat to the country, had been significantly degraded and relative normalcy had returned to most towns and villages.

He said more efforts would go into ensuring that normalcy returns to all the areas suffering banditry.

“I must specially commend the efforts and resilience of members of the Nigeria Police Force and sister agencies for the giant strides recorded so far in the fight against the prevailing security challenges.

“Across the North Central and North West of the country, we have made progress with regards to stemming the tide of communal violence, farmer-herdsmen clashes, cattle rustling, and kidnapping.

“We will continue to demonstrate zero tolerance for crime and criminality. Those who take laws into their hands, who bear arms illegally and who seek to profit from a climate of fear and insecurity will be decisively dealt with.

“That remains our promise to the people of Nigeria, who elected us to keep them safe and secured. The peace and stability of our dear country will continue to be of utmost importance. You, the Police are our points men and you must rise to the occasion, ” the President told the graduating cadets.

President Buhari also noted that security transcends law enforcement to include building the right relationships that underpin the development of secured societies.

“This is why the present administration has been fully committed from the start to strengthening existing relations between Nigeria and her neighbouring countries. It has always been clear to us that there is no way we can achieve the security we seek without the cooperation and support of our neighbours.

“And we have implemented at home the most far-reaching social support programme ever in the country to tackle poverty at the roots: one of the drivers of insecurity.

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