Thirty prominent professional bodies have called on the federal government to tackle the growing insecurity in the country, warning that if there’s no concerted effort to de-escalate the situation, Nigeria may be confronted with serious famine in the coming months.
Coming under the umbrella of the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN), members of the group including the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), noted that the problem was making Nigeria unattractive for investors.
Some other members of the group include the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) , Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS), Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM), among others.
National President of APBN, Mr. Akinloye Oyegbola, in an address at the board meeting of the organisation held in Abuja, noted that the insecurity in the country was becoming intractable, stressing that it appears that the nation is currently not winning the war against bandits and other criminals.
“Because of the seeming intractability of it, the board believes it has become expedient for the federal government to overhaul its security architecture since it looks like it is not presently winning the war against these bandits and miscreants.
“The nation’s economy is being stunted and may not attract investments as long as there are these palpable feelings of insecurity in the land. The engagement of professionals in the security sector at all levels of governance is key to bringing down this monster that is poised to destroy our nation if drastic and collective actions are not taken,” the group stated.
APBN stated that government at all levels should show resolve and political will backed with necessary resources and urged communities to play their parts by supporting government in intelligence gathering.
On the state of the nation’s economy, the organisation stated that it has become a huge source of concern for the board that the country has suffered two recessions in the last five years, has an inflation rate of 18.12 per cent and a 33.3 per cent unemployment rate.
It warned that despite boasting of the largest economy in Africa, Nigeria was on the verge of setting another record of being the country with the highest unemployment rate since it remains the highest among the continent’s top 10 economies.
“It is an open secret that the high level of conflicts in different parts of the country and the not too favourable weather conditions due to climate change and the increasingly dwindling purchasing power constitute a big disincentive to farming and development likely to result in food crisis before the end of this year.
“Besides providing security for the nation’s farmers, there is also the need for the federal government to come up with incentives that will encourage those planning to venture into farming to avert looming food crisis,” it stated.
The board also expressed dismay that the federal government has not reacted to the allegation by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) that it breached its “no victimisation clause” of the agreements with the union, while the union is threatening another strike action.
Earlier in his welcome address, President of the NSE, Mr. Babagana Mohammed, noted that the body with a total membership strength of over 56,000 engineers, 25 divisions, 81 branches spread across the entire country and in diaspora, has the core of its advocacies centred on positively influencing government policies.
He added that the NSE has been bridging the infrastructure deficit, developed Nigerian content in engineering ventures by promoting and protecting indigenous manufacturing concerns, improving engineering education and promotion of economic diversification.
With a special purpose vehicle named the North East Rehabilitation and Development Committee (NERDC), he noted that the engineers are working with governments to provide technical assistance in the rehabilitation and rebuilding efforts ongoing in that region.
According to him, the Regional Economic Development (RED) which is a platform created to advise and assist the respective governments, has been exploring their natural resources through the organised private sector, using technologies developed by tertiary institutions.
He urged members to live up to the expectations by strengthening the codes, standards and ethics of their respective professions, as well as shoring up our corporate social responsibilities.
In his comments, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, urged professionals to take active part in politics, noting that Nigeria needs to be run like a business organisation which will yield dividends for every citizen.