By Michael Oche
Africa Youth Growth Foundation (AYGF), a non-governmental organisation has offered some recommendations to the federal Government on how to address both the economic and security challenges currently bedeviling the country.
Dr. Arome Salifu, Executive Director,
Africa Youth Growth Foundation gave the recommendation while addressing journalists in Abuja during a retreat organised for its staff.
Salifu said the recent increase in crime rates across the country may not be unconnected with the harsh economic situation in the country.
According to him, the decision by the president Bola Tinubu administration to remove subsidy on petrol has impacted on the daily lives of Nigerians, especially due to the significant rise in transportation costs and food prices across the country.
The executive director noted that for more than a decade, Nigeria has been plagued by unprecedented occurrences
of violence, crime, and insecurity.
He, however, stated that in recent years, the country has seen a rise in herders-farmers clashes, kidnapping, banditry and insurgency.
According to Salifu, “addressing these challenges, AYGF emphasizes the importance of collaborative efforts between government authorities, security forces, and civil society to
implement strategic interventions and policies that prioritize the safety and well-being of Nigerian citizens.”
In highlighting some recommendations to address the challenges, he expressed hope that despite the challenges, Nigeria will see better days ahead.
He urged the government to strengthen intelligence and security cooperation, as well as community engagement and conflict resolution mechanisms to address the security challenges.
Furthermore, he said the government should invest in youth empowerment and skill development, be more transparent and accountable in economic management, take action on the currency crises and support for local economy to address the economic challenges.
While also advocating for what he described as an integrated approach to Insecurity and Economic Development, Salifu said: “Advocating for an integrated approach that addresses both the economic challenges and insecurity concurrently. The government should formulate comprehensive policies that synergize efforts to boost economic growth while simultaneously addressing security concerns. This might include increasing targeted investments in key sectors, such as agriculture and infrastructure, to stimulate economic development and create employment opportunities, thereby contributing to enhanced security.”
On increased investments in youth empowerment programs and skill development initiatives, he noted that” The government should focus on equipping the youth with relevant skills for
employment and entrepreneurship. This approach not only addresses economic
challenges by fostering a skilled workforce but also mitigates the risk of youth
involvement in criminal activities due to unemployment.”