• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Nigeria must change her security architecture to win current irregular warfare – Agbakoba

Agbakoba emphasises importance of private sector in governance

…There’s high cost of food because nobody is ready to plant

Olisa Agbakoba, a former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), has said that Nigeria needed to change her security architecture if it hoped to win the irregular warfare that is currently raging in the country.

Speaking to BusinessDay Sunday, the senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said that the country was in a low-grade war and that to win the war, the tools must change.

He also noted that the insecurity scourge was affecting food production in the country.

Read also: Hardship persists in Nigeria despite Naira rebound

“First of all, the index of failed states which measures how secure a country is, has since rated Nigeria as being in a low-grade Civil War. The reason is clear. What can we do? The most difficult warfare to fight is the irregular warfare. When you can’t see the enemy, the fight becomes a difficult one; anything can happen. When you are fighting an irregular war, the tools change,” he said.

He also said that until the issue of insecurity was settled, Nigeria may not move forward. He also blamed the high level of insecurity on the food scarcity in the country.

“If you settle it, investment will flow, and agricultural farmland will be available for the people to cultivate. So, when you talk about food security, how can there be food security when there is a warfare? The reason why you have high cost of food is because nobody is ready to plant. If you go and plant cassava, you find that tomorrow, someone will go and blow it up and destroy everything.”

Agbakoba also said that the Federal Government must take deliberate steps to ensure that the naira rebound would be sustained.

According to him, “We can’t be a dumping ground for everybody. So, Nigeria is a borderless country where everybody comes and dumps things. So, Peter Obi’s touch line, ‘from consumption to production’ is the perfect policy solution. If that ‘from consumption to production’ were to hold firm in all the sectors, you will see the result. The answer is simple; if there were an articulated National Economic Policy that says ‘Nigeria First’ and government really pursues and implements it, you would see the result. It would be very obvious whatever sector you may think about. Look at the North; the North is a massive agricultural terrain but nobody can put in, say $2billion because all the land is small holdings. We must go from smallholding to mechanised industrial agriculture. That will drop the prices of food; it is not to say you want to import rice from China, or the one that Emefiele did- Rice pyramid. So, we really need to move from ‘conception to production’ so that we can see the things growing- local tomatoes; local onions, local rice, local yam, local everything- local hospitals, etc; the prices will go down; but not to sit in Abuja and keep making policy statements without backing it.

“If you ask me; President Tinubu’s policy statements were refreshing because they were different from Buhari’s and President Tinubu’s policy statements were almost akin to what Peter Obi and Atiku said.”

He urged President Tinubu to move fast on implementation of his policies.

“I think the difference is that President Tinubu needs to pick up speed to understand that there is serious suffering in the land. In order to pick up speed, he has to hold ministers accountable.

“Now, do we have the right tools to deploy an aggressive, urgent, economic policy that translates into visible results? So, if you ask any Nigerian now, are you feeling good? The answer is no; because the prices of goods are too high. That’s the message that government should take,” he said.