Pit­falls of na­tional se­cu­rity in 2019

Sunday Trust - - NIGERIAIN2019 - By Naz­ifi Ab­dul­lahi Darma By Ron­ald Mu­tum Ab­dul­lahi Darma, PhD, As­so­ci­ate Professor of De­vel­op­ment Eco­nomics and Pub­lic Fi­nance, can be reached at nazeef­[email protected]

Nige­ria be­ing a de­vel­op­ing econ­omy with a strong pub­lic sec­tor dom­i­nance can­not achieve any mean­ing­ful, re­sult ori­ented and pros­per­ity in­duc­ing eco­nomic growth and de­vel­op­ment in the ab­sence of a well planned, mu­tu­ally con­sul­ta­tive and peo­ple ori­ented na­tional de­vel­op­ment plan­ning cul­ture.

This is mainly due to the mu­tu­ally re­in­forc­ing and com­ple­men­tar­ity na­ture of de­vel­op­ment in­ter­ven­tions in the over­all de­vel­op­ment process. Sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment is only re­al­iz­able where de­vel­op­ment in­ter­ven­tions in one sec­tor pro­vide in­puts to­wards an­other sec­tor, re­sults and process.

The aban­don­ment of na­tional de­vel­op­ment plan­ning cul­ture since the jet­ti­son­ing of the third na­tional de­vel­op­ment plan in 1985, re­sulted in the adop­tion of ad hoc medium term plans, per­spec­tive plans or at best strat­egy doc­u­ments but mas­quer­aded as de­vel­op­ment plans. In re­al­ity, a na­tional de­vel­op­ment plan must de­fine clearly the vi­sion, mis­sion, ob­jec­tives, ini­tia­tives and strate­gies that need to be adopted to­wards achiev­ing goals and tar­gets in ev­ery as­pect of de­vel­op­ment in­ter­ven­tion so de­fined in the na­tional de­vel­op­ment plan.

In a fed­er­at­ing ar­range­ment such as ours with three tiers of gov­ern­ment, a deeply grass­roots ori­ented con­sul­ta­tion that cap­tures ev­ery de­vel­op­men­tal need from com­mu­ni­ties to states and the fed­eral level is re­quired to have a truly peo­ple ori­ented and all en­com­pass­ing na­tional de­vel­op­ment plan that clearly de­fines our de­vel­op­men­tal needs in a re­ally dis­ag­gre­gated man­ner and ca­pa­ble of be­ing owned by the peo­ple for whom de­vel­op­ment is tar­geted to­wards pos­i­tive trans­for­ma­tion of their lives.

It is lit­tle won­der that other de­vel­op­ing economies have achieved mean­ing­ful trans­for­ma­tion in the qual­ity and stan­dard of their peo­ple’s lives based on their con­sis­tency in im­ple­ment­ing medium term na­tional de­vel­op­ment plans for a long pe­riod of time. In­dia and China are typ­i­cal examples of this

Idis­ci­plined plan­ning cul­ture. For In­dia, it is presently im­ple­ment­ing its 14th con­sec­u­tive five-year na­tional de­vel­op­ment plan, in­di­cat­ing that in the last 70 years, In­di­ans are con­sis­tent and pre­dictable in terms of their eco­nomic pol­icy di­rec­tion, macroe­co­nomic pre­dictabil­ity, sec­toral pol­icy con­sis­tency and align­ment with na­tional as­pi­ra­tions and in­vest­ment pol­icy. The end re­sult be­ing a pre­dictable eco­nomic growth tra­jec­tory, but most im­por­tantly a wide­spread pros­per­ity shared by many, hence lift­ing hun­dreds of mil­lions out of ab­so­lute poverty into mid­dle in­come pros­per­ity with the cap­tion “In­dia is shin­ing’.

A sim­i­lar sce­nario hap­pened in China cou­pled with Mr. Deng Zhao Ping’s pol­icy of open­ness in­tro­duced in 1978 that saw China trans­formed into the sec­ond largest econ­omy to­day with the high­est for­eign re­serve of US$3.120 tril­lion as at Novem­ber 2018 and over 500 mil­lion Chi­nese t is es­ti­mated that N6 tril­lion has been ex­pended on se­cu­rity over the past five years with ar­guably lit­tle gains in terms of safety and se­cu­rity of lives and prop­erty in Nige­ria.

Bud­get es­ti­mates for the de­fence and se­cu­rity sec­tor in­creased ev­ery year from N932 bil­lion in 2014, N969 bil­lion in 2015, N1.063 tril­lion in 2016, N1.142 tril­lion in 2017 and 1.334 tril­lion in 2018.

How­ever, in 2018, Nige­ria ranked 148 in the red band of the Global Peace In­dex, be­low Le­banon and above Turkey in a mea­sure­ment of 163 coun­tries ac­cord­ing to lev­els of peace­ful­ness.

A pres­i­den­tial elec­tion year, 2019, is crit­i­cal be­cause of the evolv­ing na­ture of in­se­cu­rity in Nige­ria, which has mor­phed from mainly lifted out of ab­so­lute poverty and de­pra­va­tion. These are all re­sults of in­sti­tu­tion­al­iz­ing a dis­ci­plined cul­ture of na­tional de­vel­op­ment plan­ning, fis­cal pru­dence and management, align­ment of sec­toral pol­icy di­rec­tion with na­tional de­vel­op­ment plan as­pi­ra­tion, phased and con­sis­tent im­ple­men­ta­tion of projects and pro­grammes and most im­por­tantly de­vel­op­ment of a re­sults frame­work that is ad­e­quately mon­i­tored and re­viewed through a na­tional mon­i­tor­ing and eval­u­a­tion cul­ture.

The key chal­lenges of our econ­omy lies with our grow­ing but poor pop­u­la­tion, a dom­i­nant oil sec­tor, mas­sive un­em­ploy­ment, high in­fra­struc­ture deficit, con­sis­tent bud­get deficit and de­lay in its pas­sage, mas­sive ur­ban­iza­tion and en­vi­ron­men­tal chal­lenges, ex­ces­sive im­port de­pen­dency and low do­mes­tic in­dus­trial pro­duc­tion and a trun­cated agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion sys­tem with lit­tle do­mes­tic value ad­di­tion, a non­re­spon­sive ter­ror­ism and in­sur­gency to ban­ditry.

The dan­ger­ous spate of ban­ditry was high­lighted by the killing of a for­mer chief ed­u­ca­tional sys­tem to our de­vel­op­men­tal as­pi­ra­tions, a very costly and un­sus­tain­able gov­er­nance frame­work and a dis­torted value sys­tem that is at vari­ance with na­tional dis­ci­pline and pa­tri­o­tism.

The two na­tions cited as clear examples of na­tional pros­per­ity de­rived from na­tional plan­ning cul­ture, have over­comed sig­nif­i­cantly most of our na­tional chal­lenges that I have enu­mer­ated ear­lier. The fun­da­men­tal ques­tion is what can we do dif­fer­ently go­ing for­ward to­wards achiev­ing sus­tain­able pros­per­ity ben­e­fit­ting our teem­ing pop­u­la­tion. We need as a na­tion to adopt a holis­tic frame­work that clearly de­fines our de­vel­op­men­tal need on a sec­toral ba­sis, de­fines strate­gies to­wards ad­dress­ing them, but most im­por­tantly trans­form­ing them into prop­erly costed pro­grammes and projects and a clear im­ple­men­ta­tion strat­egy and re­sults frame­work with de­fined re­spon­si­bil­ity for im­ple­men­ta­tion.

In­sti­tu­tion­al­iza­tion of na­tional plan­ning cul­ture re­quires more than a fed­eral gov­ern­ment com­mit­ment to na­tional plan­ning. It in­volves a clear lead by ex­am­ple us­ing Na­tional Eco­nomic Coun­cil as a ral­ly­ing point for con­sen­sus to­wards re­vert­ing back to the na­tional de­vel­op­ment plan­ning cul­ture.

Added to this is the con­sti­tu­tion of a na­tional task team to­wards de­vel­op­ing an all-in­clu­sive na­tional de­vel­op­ment plan and its im­ple­men­ta­tion strat­egy with a clear leg­is­la­tion at all tiers of gov­ern­ment to­wards mak­ing it a of de­fence staff Alex Badeh by un­known gun­men on De­cem­ber 18th along the Abuja -Keffi road. per­ma­nent fea­ture of our na­tional de­vel­op­ment strat­egy such that changes in gov­ern­ment would in­su­late our na­tional econ­omy from pol­icy changes that of­ten elude our quest for sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.

The un­end­ing wran­gling be­tween ex­ec­u­tive and leg­is­la­ture at the fed­eral level over bud­get con­tents and tim­ing would au­to­mat­i­cally van­ish with the adop­tion of a na­tional plan­ning cul­ture. The un­healthy prac­tice of fed­eral in­sti­tu­tions im­ple­ment­ing ex­tremely mi­cro projects that have no bear­ing with their pol­icy man­date would be elim­i­nated. Pol­icy and project syn­chro­niza­tion would be at­tained be­tween fed­eral and state gov­ern­ments would be­come a re­al­ity only through a dis­ci­plined plan­ning cul­ture.

As we are in an elec­tion year, the im­per­a­tive for a new be­gin­ning is here for our po­lit­i­cal lead­ers ir­re­spec­tive of the party or who wins elec­tion. The need for mas­sive job cre­ation, in­fras­truc­tural pro­vi­sion, value adding agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion, a vi­brant do­mes­tic in­dus­trial sec­tor, new ini­tia­tives for ur­ban­iza­tion in the face of grow­ing pop­u­la­tion and its move­ment into ci­ties, mul­ti­or­i­ented en­vi­ron­men­tal chal­lenges and the need for a new na­tional re­ori­en­ta­tion char­ac­ter­ized by lead­er­ship with ex­am­ple are a re­al­ity we cant wish away or that can be ad­dressed in the ab­sence of elite con­sen­sus to­wards na­tional de­vel­op­ment and pros­per­ity. In 2019, apart from ter­ror­ism Nige­ria is ex­pected to strive to­wards curb­ing the

PHOTO:

A farmer works on his farm be­hind the Ah­madu Bello Sta­dium in Kaduna Shehu K. Goro

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Work­ers at an oil rig in the Niger Delta Getty Images

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Air Force per­son­nel de­ployed for op­er­a­tion Di­ran Mikiya in Zam­fara State, to de­stroy el­e­ments engaged in ban­ditry in the state and its en­vi­rons NAF

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Sol­diers in pur­suit of Boko Haram mem­bers in Borno State Army Head­quar­ters

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