Pitfalls of national security in 2019
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
A farmer works on his farm behind the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna Shehu K. Goro
Workers at an oil rig in the Niger Delta Getty Images
Air Force personnel deployed for operation Diran Mikiya in Zamfara State, to destroy elements engaged in banditry in the state and its environs NAF
Soldiers in pursuit of Boko Haram members in Borno State Army Headquarters