Tuesday 23 August 2016

The Impact of Security on Economic Development of Rivers State of Nigeria



Everywhere in Nigeria today, security remains the most topical issue on the lips of the citizenry. Many are yet to come to terms with the concept, nature and scope of security in economic growth and development. But, that believe security is a necessary paradox, providing platforms to support and legitimize repressive state powers in one side and instruments for maintaining law and order in society in the other.

 Security is life and life is security. Security is at the core of human existence, human development and human living and important in human living standard. Security is also the pillar of wealth creation and value preservation. “From the stone age man to the computer age man, man’s progress and development has been contingent on his ability to safeguard things of value”, Ollorwi (2009).

Any modern society cannot be seriously addressing the issue of development if such consideration is not based on the foundation of adequate security. The concept of security implies to be secure from war and terrorism, crime, pandemics, want, fear, and environmental damage. It measures the absence of threats to acquired values and the absence of fear that such values will be attacked, (Lack 1997). Security, law and order are the major preoccupation of any government. Once a government gets this priority right, it has made the very first right step. Development of such a concept on which other development critically depends requires collation, collaboration, cooperation, coordination, vision, foresight, long range planning, consistency and continuity. In other words, security is an imperative for any community, any society, and indeed, any nation’s development.

The villagisation of the globe has further made security an all-important desideratum for all peoples and nations. Regrettably, poverty, ignorance, illiteracy, marginalization, unemployment, oppression and the likes have continued to fuel insecurity in Nigeria and slow, or do I say, hunt economic growth and development?

Questioning the object of security in human endeavors, (economic-growth and development) leads inexorably to questioning the exclusive focus on the threat, use, and control of military force. Such exercises have led to the killing, maiming, and incarceration of many freedom fighters and activists in the past and present Nigeria. The widespread human-rights abuse of the late General Sani Abacha, who served as the de facto President of Nigeria from 1993 to 1998 is still fresh in our memory.

Rivers State

Rivers State is the hub of the oil industry in Nigeria and very rich in hydrocarbons, from which the nation derives its major revenue. Sadly, the state is confronted with security challenges, especially illegal oil bunkering, pipeline vandalism, terrorism, piracy, kidnapping, armed robbery, cultism, militancy, etc. The consequences of insecurity in any given society are usually disastrous. Apart from the aforementioned crimes, Rivers State is presently beset with a different array of political, communal, and criminal issues, including cultism and gang-related violence, protests and gang war.


The strategic importance of Rivers State in the socio-economic and political future of Nigeria cannot be over-emphasized. Apart from evolving as the oil and gas nerve-center of Nigeria over the years, the State has to its credit a growing population of about 5.1 million (the sixth most populous state in the country) and an impressive GDP of over 21.07 billion USD – which is bigger than that of most African countries, including Botswana, Rwanda, Namibia, Lesotho, etc.

Impact of 2015 General Elections in Rivers State

The enviable economic and socio-political scorecard of Rivers State has made electable positions in the state more attractive. And because elections in Nigeria determine who controls and allocates resources coupled with the strategic nature of Rivers State in the socio-political and economic calculus of the country, security impacts greatly on election processes of the State more compare to other States of the federation.


Therefore, one need not be surprised by the political intrigues and maneuvers currently going on in order to capture the soul of the state. But, I must add that the use of violence or political bullying to achieve this, is corruption and its consequences are detrimental to development of the State.


The State was a pivotal state in the 2015 general elections and experienced elevated levels of election-related tension and violence throughout 2014. Over a year now after the general elections in the country politically-induced violence is yet to abate in the State. Instead, subsequent remediation elections are tagged “inconclusive”. However, results of these cancelled/inconclusive elections are presently being cooked up for release; perhaps to prevent further violence and bloodshed, (sic)? 


Elections are meant to be one of the democratic processes of electing leaders at all branches and levels of governance in the society; but, in Nigeria, elections have posed more security threats to the corporate existence of the country and widened the gaps among the citizenry. Election violence and unnecessary waste of scarce resources arising from election litigations in the country are lamentable. The Independent Electoral Commission’s Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu recently declared that conducting elections in the country comes with so much trouble of litigation. He said INEC “had been taken to Court 680 times by litigants over the last general elections”.   


The Rivers State Governor, Chief Barrister Nyesum Ezenwo Wike, CON envisioned a State that is secured, safe and peaceful. This, the administration intends to achieve through collaboration with the Federal Government, the security agencies and all stakeholders to combat crime and guarantee the safety and security of lives and property in the State. Lofty goals and good intensions anticipated to transform and reposition the security and development of Rivers State.

But, let it be pointed out here that these goals are achievable only within the framework of well refined national and international security arrangements, since no community is an island in the current global village.

Besides, the development in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) make nonsense of the idea of Rivers State embarking on wholesome security under the present unitary system wherein power at the center is not separated and devolve among the three arms of government – the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary – but concentrated not also in an institution but in an individual – Mr. President. Secondly, the resources that the State can devote to security in the face of increasing social needs are increasingly diminishing to the point where there is no alternative than reliance on federal government who determines what resources comes to the state at any point in time. 

Again, the dwindling future of the State finances arising from the current national economic crisis that has reduced federal allocation to the lowest in recent times; depleting internally generated revenue caused by inability of numerous taxpayers (corporates and individuals) to meet their social obligations to the State combined to frustrate development efforts, as security continue to feed fat on available scare resources.

The human and physical development we are seeing today in the State is the extra efforts of a Governor determined to deliver dividends of democracy to his people. 

For states of the federation to provide security and develop at its own pace, they must be given commiserate powers and allow to develop natural resources within their domain and create the necessary infrastructure that would attract investors.  The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode make a point on Thursday 24th August, 2016 in Kaduna at the 4th Progressives Governors Lecture organized by the All Progressives Congress (APC), when he said that State Governors be allowed “to develop their potentials; to unbundle the potentials of each state; take the comparative advantage of each state and fuse them together for the needs of our people”.  This also would necessitate national restructuring, dismantle obnoxious laws such as the Land Use Decree of 1978, Pipeline Act CAP 145 Vol. VI of 1958, Mineral Act of 1990, Exclusive Economic Zone Act of 1978 (and many others), and enact appropriate legislations to enable the states own both the land and natural resources in their lands and waters.  
The lopsided unitary system that operates in Nigeria is the cause of our problem. It is a curb in the wheel of individual state’s development efforts.

Without a genuine commitment to true federalism and democracy security will continue to rob development of vital resources. Besides, the Nigeria political classes who control and allocate the resources respect no rules but those of power, its indiscriminate and unconstitutional application, which is already degenerating to a monstrous absurdity. The process of nation-building is being halted as politics has assumed the winner-take all syndromes, as demonstrated by the political appointments and development projects distribution national standard formula of 92% north and 5% south.  

Back home, the incident of 17th August, 2016, in which the Police and DSS sealed up the Shark Stadium venue of the People’s Democratic Party’s National Convention due to conflicting courts judgments won’t have occurred if State Police was functional. Therefore, it is time we sit together and amicably restructure Nigeria either along regional autonomy or natural boundaries. Each State must be allowed to be in charge of its police and other functions as practiced in the USA and UK from where we copy almost everything.  

Costs and Impacts of Insecurity

The socio-political and economic landscape in Nigeria has been blighted by the endemic twin evil of crime and violence. The abysmal failure of successive administrations in the State to address challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequitable distribution of wealth among the different nationalities that constitute Rivers State, ultimately resulted to anger, agitation and violent crimes against the State and the nation by some individuals and groups. Such crimes as earlier mentioned include militancy, kidnapping, armed robbery, bombing, destruction of government properties, among others.  

The activities of various militia groups consequently resulted in low income for government from oil revenue, moderating the Gross Domestic Product growth rate, low participation of local and foreign investors in economic development and insecurity of lives and properties of the citizens.

Since the last four years, there has been a dramatic twist on the wave, dynamics and sophistication of insecurity in Rivers State in particular and Nigeria in general. Insecurity which used to be one of the lowest concerns in the hierarchy of our social problems has now assumed an alarming proportion. A time we thought that corruption and power failure have the crown of our problems, insecurity in the country has now taken the front seat.
However, those that believe insecurity in the State is an exclusive reserve of a particular nationality are not in tune with the current realities on ground. The pattern of criminality in Rivers State has been zoned: militancy and piracy in Rivers West Senatorial Zone, kidnapping in Rivers South-East Senatorial Zone and ritual killing in Rivers East Senatorial Zone, illegal oil bunkering, cultism, armed robbery, political and non-political assassinations across the State. The zonal structure of insecurity has also given rise to unlegislated security formations in all the villages, towns and communities in the State in a bid to curtail the alarming rate of insecurity.

At the national level, the frequent occurrence of bomb explosions, orchestrated by the acclaimed religious extremists in the northern part of the country, has assumed a worrisome dimension. An estimated number of over 30,000 lives have been lost to bomb explosion and other violence from 2010 till date. According to security information released by Nigerian Institute of Security, a frontline security institution, between March and December 2012, there were a total of 156 successful explosions in the country which claimed several lives. On the 20th of August, 2016, Daily Post, an online news media quoted Ambassador Ahmed Shehu the Chairman and Executive Director of Network of Civil Society Organization (NECSO) as saying that 23,000 people were killed, and 2.2 million displaced in Borno State alone.

In fact, I agreed completely with the Former Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar when he said that there was no need for national security threats to arise from Boko Haram, Niger Delta Avengers and Biafra agitators currently threatening the peace of the country

Thus, the inability of the security agencies to address the country's security challenges during these inauspicious periods raised yet another critical question on the preparedness of Nigeria to attain desired political, social and economic heights in the year 2020. It further poses serious threats to the unity and corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign state. Therefore, addressing the security challenges in Nigeria ultimately requires not only the identification of the causes of threats but also a critical evaluation of the performance of security agencies in handling the situation in Nigeria. These security agencies include:  

·         National Security Agency (NSA)

·         National Intelligence Agency (NIA)

·         Department of State Services (DSS)

·         Nigeria Police Force (NPF)

·         Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps

·         Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS)

·         Nigeria Customs Service (NCS)

·         National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA)

·         Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)

Although  the  achievement  of  total  or  absolute  security would  be  an  exercise  in  futility as no country in the world is an alien to insecurity. The contemporary security challenges in the country have not only raised critical questions bordering on formulation and implementation of Nigeria’s internal    security policies, but also the recruitment and effectiveness of the security agents to perform their statutory responsibilities within the framework of true federalism.

Moreover, the cost of life and material resources lost to insecurity in the country since the past few years is unquantifiable. According to News24, a Nigerian online news outfit, “The real estimate of Nigerians killed since the onset of the Boko Haram crises in 2011 is over 100,000; and the figure is conservative.” Between 2009 and 2012, about 2,800 lives were lost to militia insurgency; within the first nine months in 2012, 815 people were killed in 275 suspected attacks, and more than 60 police stations were attacked in 10 northern states, excluding the bombed police headquarters and UN office in Abuja. Tens of dozen are still nursing various degrees of injuries. In 2014 over 6,600 people lost their lives to Boko Haram attacks. In the first three months of 2015, 1,600 lives were lost. The data base of orphans and widows caused by the rampaging sects has grown massively.

Money from some international organizations and funds raised locally from governmental, non-governmental agencies, charitable organizations and individuals which is supposed to be channeled to human capital development has been deployed for the rehabilitation of families of the casualties and the renovation of properties destroyed.

Yearly, unspecified millions of Naira is being paid as ransom for the release of victims of kidnappers; not forgetting the Central Bank of Nigeria’s ₦100 million cash donation, the ₦200 million donation from the combined effort of the opposition governors, and the $50, 000 from the Christian Association of Nigeria, America chapter, to reduce the suffering of the victims of regional militia.

The cost of insecurity in Nigeria could also be seen on the percentage of annual budget allocated to security agencies on yearly basis. Infrastructure and human capital development are almost foregone alternatives; hence, capital expenditure is struggling from the rear.




Figure 1: Weight of Insecurity on Nigeria National Budget 2009 to 2016

Budget (N Trillion)
Allocation to Security (N Billion)
% On Budget


Figure 2: Percentage Weight of Insecurity on Nigeria National Budget 2009 to 2016



Figure 3: Cost of Security on Nigeria Annual Budget 2009 to 2016



As Nigeria struggles with the army of unemployed youth of over 25%; companies in their numbers are closing down operations in the country and relocating to other African countries for fear of loss of lives and properties. The few remaining companies are operating on skeletal bases.

In May, the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics reported that another 1.5 Nigerians became unemployed in 2016, worsening the already congested labour market and increasing the level of poverty, hardship and sufferings in the land.

Within the past few weeks SPDC has declared Force Majeure twice. A top management staff of a manufacturing company disclosed that their production plant in Port Harcourt, which in recent past operated three times a week, now operates once a month because of fear of insecurity.

Construction workers and expatriates providing specialized services on various projects in the State had fled the region. This development has multiplied the number of unemployed youths roaming the streets and has become an easy tool for violence. This scenario has not only deepened the existing unemployment rate but also paints a gloomy picture of poverty and pains.

The activities of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDAs) have brought oil production in the region to a 20-year low. The group onslaught began on 10th February, 2016, when it carried out coordinated attacks on the SPDC Bonny Soku Gas Export Line which is one of the country’s Gas Exporting Platforms in Rivers State.

Not relenting, the avengers bombed the SPDC’s vital underwater Forcados 48-inch Export Pipeline. On the same day, they blew up the Clough Creek Tebidaba Agip Pipeline Manifold in Bayelsa State.

In May this year, the group also attack the Chevron Valve Platform located at Abiteye, a Chevron Offshore Platform.

On June 2nd, 2016, the avengers blew up two major oil wells located at Dibi in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State. The Oil Wells are RMP 23 and RMP 24 belonging to Chevron Nigeria Limited.

The impacts of these attacks are glaring. Nigeria is in trouble. Nigeria is broke. As the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu narrated, “Nigeria budgeted for production of 2.2 million barrels per day but the attacks have cut output to 1.4 million barrels per day”. Besides, the vandalization of pipelines worsens the environment in the region. There is going to be iron in the water, which would affect fish farming and aquaculture. The air quality would also be altered. There is also going to be a lot of hydrocarbon in the air, which would affect baseline studies of air.

At the 2016 Annual Conference of National Association of Energy Correspondents, in Lagos on Thursday 18th August, 2016, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu disclosed that Nigeria recorded 1, 600 cases of pipeline vandalism since January. He further revealed that the country recorded over 3,000 pipeline vandalism cases from 2010 to 2015. The impact of these attacks on oil and gas pipelines, he pointed out “was that there was no money to fund the 2016 budget.

The militancy in the Niger Delta was said to destabilize the country’s oil industry. According to the Minister, Nigeria needed to increase its production by 1.1 million barrels per day to meet its target. While vandals wreak havoc on oil facilities and cripple local production, over supply of product in the market is affecting prices and creating shocks to the economy.

Kachikwu said that about 850 million standard cubic feet of gas production had been lost from crises and power outage exposure of 2,700 MW to 3,000MW.

There is urgent need to draw global attention to the needs of youths in the Niger Delta in the face of failing programmes of the federal government of Nigeria (FGN) to placate them. The government must get the youths to be productive, to channel their energies in the right direction.

The security situation in the Nigeria’s northeastern States of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa is impacting negatively on Rivers State. Education they say is the bedrock of social economic development. The Islamic militants have serially attacked students and facilities in educational institutions in different northern states of the country over time, a lot of schools have closed down their academic activities. This drastically impacted the teaming number of students seeking admission into academic institutions at all levels. Most of these citizens desirous of acquiring education now relocate to Rivers State to seek admission into the few available institutions in the State. This has made the process of admission into these institutions more competitive and expensive. It is also one of the reasons our institutions are overcrowded nowadays. Again, some students posted to participate in the compulsory one year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme in northern part of the country are known to have redeployed to Rivers State immediately after three weeks of mandatory camping. This development also put pressure on security of the State and corporate organizations operating in the State that have to absorb more youth corps members than is necessary. This also negates the purpose of setting up the NYSC through the NYSC Decree No 24 of 22nd May, 1973 (as amended by CAP No. 84 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004).


On the other hand, the activities of the Niger Delta militants have also enveloped the State in fear and worry. The street cults in Rivers State are impacting educational institutions in different parts of the state negatively. For instance, in 2014 gangsters from Ogn sacked Ekporo community in Eleme LGA in what can be described as commando like operation, all private and public buildings in the community were burnt down and the place rendered desolate till today. In Etche, Emouha, Tobia, Omoku, Ogbakiri, B-Dere, K-Dere, to mention a few, it is the same story.


Over time, a lot of Primary and Secondary Schools in the State have shut down their academic programmes. This has drastically impacted the teaming number of students seeking admission into primary and secondary school in the State. Both Private and Public Schools in Rivers State that are known for turning down admission of students because of quality and to avoid overcrowding of facility, now solicits for admission through deferent media outreaches. To worsen matters, parents and guardians are also showing reluctance to send their children to Schools in the State for fear of being kidnapped or killed by flying bullets.  

The growth of foreign direct investment in tourism sector had been adversely affected as some immigration departments of countries in Europe and America have issued warnings to their citizens who wish to visit Nigeria to be aware of the security problem in the country.

On August 3rd 2016, the Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to 20 Nigerian States and recommends that U.S. citizens avoid all travel to Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states because the security situation in northeast Nigeria remains fluid and unpredictable. 

The US went further to recommends against all but essential travel to the following states due to the risk of kidnappings, robberies, and other armed attacks:  Bauchi, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Niger, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, and Zamfara.

Few days later, in the same vein, the United Kingdom High Commission in Nigeria has also warned its citizens against travelling to 16 states in the country for security reasons. The mission advised its citizens against travel to Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, and Kano city. Others are riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa  Ibom and Cross River and within 20km of the border with Niger in Zamfara State.

Although Federal Government of Nigeria through Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture was quick to frown at the Western world description of Nigeria as unsafe, that changed nothing. Insurgency, militancy, cultism, terrorism and gang war perpetuated by pirates, warlords, terrorists, guerrillas, criminal organizations, tribal bandits, and terrorists have reduced our villages, towns and communities to theater of violence.

China Achebe (2012) posited in his book, “There Was A Country” that “Economic deprivation and corruption produce and exacerbate financial and social inequalities in a population, which in turn fuel political instability. Within this environment”, he argued, “Extremists of all kinds – particularly religious zealots and other …mischief makers – find a foothold to recruit supporters and sympathizers to help them launch terrorist attacks and wreak havoc in the lives of ordinary citizens”. 

Worse still, the Federal Government of Nigeria has always tolerated terrorism. Over the years, the government has turned a blind eye to waves of ferocious and savage massacres of its citizens with impunity. Even in cases where their hands were found dripping in blood, the perpetrators have many a time evaded capture and punishment. The county has been doomed to witness endless cycles of inter-ethnic, inter-religious violence and gang war because the government has failed woefully to enforce laws protecting its citizens from wanton violence.

Whatever diverts resources from development constitutes national security threats. Actions and inactions that put undue pressures on security resources disinvest the economy and rob the nation of resources for quality development. Besides, I ask, why is “security vote” unaccounted for at all levels of government in Nigeria? This is the reason why President Muhammadu Buhari deserves commendation for fighting corruption head-on, even though more deserved to be done to convince Nigerians and the international community that the war against corruption is not selective and directed against perceived enemies. The President should take the war against corruption a step further by creating a structure and process to ensure that the national drainpipe called “security vote” is made truly transparent and accountable as well.

The “Dasukigate” is a tip of the iceberg of national waste in the name of security vote; and how a group of people entrusted with the management of national resources can rob the nation dry and frustrate development. 

Corruption is a major security challenge in Nigeria and an impediment to development. Have we ever considered the billions of Naira plundered annually by federal law-makers through another waste channel known as “Constituency Projects”. Where are the projects? They exist only on papers! North, South, East and West, the story is the same. It is rather unfortunate that 56 years after independence, our leaders do not know whether the country should go.

Not only did insecurity affect foreign direct investment, it also affects business confidence as many companies lost confidence in establishing businesses in the affected place. It is rather unfortunate that Port Harcourt which accounted for 50% of alternative business destinations in Nigeria in 2013 is today listed among the most dangerous destination in Nigeria.

As security situation nationwide becomes more worrisome, our respect in the eyes of global community is diminishing. It engenders stiffer conditions in bilateral relations. If urgent steps are not taken to address this ugly trend, it will negatively affect all the indices of development and the quest for millennium development goal, and vision 2020 will be a mirage.

Just yesterday, President Muhammadu Buhari sent a Bill to the National Assembly seeking Emergency Powers to stimulate the economy or tackle the economic crisis, as he put it. The basic aims of the action plan on the economy which is in recession are:

1.      To shore up the value of the Naira.

2.      To create more jobs.

3.      To boost foreign reserves (which has now fallen to an 11-year low, standing at $25.7 billion).

4.      To revive the manufacturing sector.

5.      To improve power supply.

Sounds patriotic and convincing, but is really a ploy by President Buhari to transform himself into a tyrant and impose dictatorship on the nation. Even without the Emergency Powers at his disposal, Buhari has continued to trample on powers of other arms of government – legislature and judiciary. Granting such request as presented is putting the nation on a suicide mission. Nigerians should not shy away from the truth. Once bitten, twice shy!    

The Nigeria Government refusal to accept the lessons of history has compounded the problems. Intoxicated by its military might, concentration of power and domineering influence, the government fails to realize that no force of arms, and no amount of brutal repression, humiliation, and degradation has ever triumphed over a people’s just cause for freedom, equal rights, justice, and human dignity.

The Need for a Correct Perception of Security Dimension of Development
Jeffrey H. Norwitz (2009) observed that the problems of socioeconomic development and concomitant improvement of level of living, or quality of life, is certainly one of the outstanding issues confronting mankind. Development tends to be a question not of national endowment, as are natural resources or population size, but of capabilities, such as the utilization of resources, technology, and socio-economic institutions.


A definition of development would include the process of more effective use of resources and increased efficiency in production and distribution, which results in a greater volume and diversity of goods and services for less human physical labor.


To this, I will add the distributional aspect within society as being, perhaps, the most important facet. That is, the distribution of wealth or the more equitable distribution of income constitutes the highest forms of development. In this sense, the issue of human rights transcends political and civil rights, to include socioeconomic rights, such as rights to health, shelter, education, housing, employment, and rights for minorities, becomes central development.


I agree with the United Nations that the notion of ‘human security’ is a concept for both understanding and assessing the notion of development (UNDP Report of 1994). The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) defines human security as encompassing two fundamental freedoms at the heart of the UN Chapter, namely: Freedom from want and freedom from fear.


Freedom from want describes a condition of existence in which basic material needs are met, and crucially in which there is a reasonable expectation that protection will be afforded during any crisis or downturn – natural or manmade – so that survival is not threatened.


Human security as freedom from fear describes a condition of existence in which human dignity is realized, not only embracing physical safety, but going beyond to include meaningful participation in the life of the community, control over one’s life, and so on. Human security embraces the whole gamut of rights – civil, political, economic, social, cultural, etc.


By contrast, human insecurity refers to a condition of vulnerability, in which human beings’ physical or material wellbeing is threatened. Such threats may be due to natural disasters like floods, storms, landslides, earthquake; or man-made disasters such as fire, or oil spillages, bomb explosions and so on. They may as well be due to political conflicts within the country, (Alan Collin 2010).


Also, they may arise from the fundamental structure of the world economy in which decision-making power is concentrated in the core capitalist states, commodity producers are continually disadvantaged, and billions of people live precariously on the edge, where life is structured by lack of reliable access to material resources.  

Importance of Human Security to Development

Human Security emphasizes the safety and wellbeing of individuals, groups, communities as opposed to prioritizing the nation and its interests. Human Security shifts focus to individuals, to people, to communities as the referent object, and give most attention to those people suffering insecurities inside a nation. Whether it is a question of non-politicized, politicized, or securitized of development, our priority, which is the priority of Human Security is to plot issues where they belong.

It has been stated that the 1994 UNDP refers to Human Security as a condition where people are given relief from the traumas that besiege human development; first “Safety from chronic threats as hunger, disease, and repression”; and secondly, “Protection from sudden and hurtful disruption in the patterns of daily life – whether in homes, in jobs, or in communities”, (UNDP 1994).

It is believed that Nigeria will rethink its security and adopt the Human Security approach. Ensuring human security requires a seven-pronged methodology to address the following security components:

a.       Economic Security – Ensures basic income and employment, access to social safety.

b.      Food Security -Access to basic nutrition and food supply. Tackles issues of famine, hunger.

c.       Health Security – Access to safe water, safe environment, health services, family planning and basic support during pregnancy, prevention of HIV/AIDS, basic knowledge to live healthy.

d.      Environment Security – Covers prevention of water and air pollution, prevention of deforestation, irrigated land conservation, prevention of natural hazards such as floods, droughts, etc.

e.       Personal Security – Protection from physical violence, crimes, accidents, etc.

f.       Community Security – Ensures conservation of tradition and cultures, languages and commonly held values, abolishment of ethnic conflicts, and protection of indigenous peoples.

g.      Political Security – Protection of human rights and wellbeing of all people, protection of people from State repression by advancing Freedom of Press, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Voting, and abolition of political detention, imprisonment, systematic ill treatment, and disappearance, (Ollorwi 2016).

These approaches force attention to be focused on the issue of development, so as to move human and financial resources towards poverty relief and concrete development. You will agree with me that the focus that the concept of human security puts on the nexus between conflict and development is nonetheless very useful and important. The concept of human security also serves as reminder that many of the debates about the practical measures for managing internal conflict, such as those slowly evolving mechanisms for supporting the responsibility to protect and its other components such as:

(a)    The responsibility to prevent,

(b)   The responsibility to react, and

(c)    The responsibility to rebuild

are intellectually founded on the concept which should not be overlooked again in Nigeria.

The concept of human security also highlights the view that the threats to humans, as well as to the State entities are changing and increasing. These changes have spurred the debate about the meaning of security, the link between security and development, and the argument for broadening and deepening security.

We are all aware that apart from violence within the State, there are non-military threats of environmental degradation and the effects of global warming, pandemics such as HIV/AIDS and people movements (refuges and Internally Displaced Persons). Examples include increasing inflow of people from all over Nigeria, especially the northeastern part into Rivers State in search for greener pastures or as a result of Boko Haram insurgency respectively. Other threats include those who come into the State with bad intentions to perpetuate crime and cause havoc; and the IDPs (like the people of Ekporo in Eleme L.G.A. of Rivers State, who were internally displaced from the ancestral homes since 2014; their homes damaged, their means of livelihood destroyed, and hope of returning home blink as government seems not to be perturbed about their plights).

The concept served to also highlight the essence of good global norms. It is an underlying motivation for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Chapter, the Geneva Conventions, the Ottawa Treaty, and the International Criminal Court. Human Security serves as an umbrella norm for various treaties and conventions that aim to protect vulnerable people from persecuting actors, notably the State. Developing good global norms is important not only for moral and ethical reasons but also because, as most democracies attest, they serve to enhance national and international security and balanced development.

As General Ibrahim Babamasi Babangida, the former President, said, “Business decisions should no longer reflect purely economic concerns; but they should also reflect the need for social responsibility”, (IBB 1990). One of the roles of business and industry in security and development is

to get youths out of the street through employment and give them on the job training to make them employable today and tomorrow.

We need to revamp our entire concept of security if we are to solve the problems of development, especially as the conflict over resources continues to grow more intense.

Conclusions and Recommendations

In conclusion I offer a number of suggestions for creating a secure environment where peace will reign, the economy will boom and development will thrive:

  1. To adopt the human security approach in creating a framework for development in an atmosphere of mutual respect by abolishing all the negative factors which combined to arouse hatred, jealousy, wickedness, aggression, ethnicity, nepotism and denigration.
  2. Government to formulate and effectively implement policies and programmes capable of addressing the root causes of insecurity – such as poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, environmental degradation, dearth of infrastructural facilities, uneven development, among others.
  3. It is recommended that the Federal Government of Nigeria reorganize the country’s intelligence system and build a capable and more proactive security apparatus in the country. This will add more values in checking incessant bombings, robbery, kidnapping and violent crimes/crises by hoodlums in the country.
  4. The Rivers State Government should endeavor to phase out all moribund poverty eradication programmes and establish a more viable and result-oriented agency capable of addressing the problem of abject poverty among large population of citizens, particularly those residing in the rural areas.
  5. The government should establish an Agency to be known as Rivers State Agency for Youths Empowerment (RISAYE) and reposition the agricultural sector so as to play active role in job creation for Rivers youths.
  6. There is the need for collective security arrangement by the federal, state and local governments in Nigeria This arrangement, will require a structure or organization, which could be christened “Nigerian Cross-Cultural Council on Security”, with committees at village, community, ward, local, state and federal levels; charged with the responsibility of providing sensitive security information for security agencies at their areas of operation. This will ultimately assist in identifying criminals, their sponsors and hideouts in the country.
  7. The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) must as a matter of priority marshal the will to restructure the country and consider the State Police option so that States will be in position to recruit, train, equip, and motivate their own police force for effective policing of the States. The restructuring must be designed to heal our wounds, not provoke new divisions, noting that unity and the future are never constructed out of divisions, hatred and mischief.
  8. The issue of citizenship or who is qualified to be an indigene of a particular community or state should be urgently reviewed by the federal government. This is important because, a Nigerian who has lived up to 10 years in a given community should not be regarded and treated as a non-indigene in the area. This step will ultimately reduce discrimination and crisis in many parts of Nigeria.
  9. The government and peoples of Nigeria are advised to develop a better attitude and space for national and international cooperation to make Nigeria more of a welcoming and hospitable place capable of attracting tourists and foreign investors.


1.      A. E. Ekoko and M. A. Vogt et al.(1990), Nigerian Defence Policy: Issues and Problems Lagos, Malthouse Press Limited

2.      Alan Collin et al. (2010), Contemporary Security Studies, New York  Oxford University Press

3.      Chinua Achebe (2012), There Was A Country, London, Penguin Books Limited

4.      Jeffrey H. Norwitz (2009), Pirates, Terrorists, and Warlords New York Skyhorse Publishing.

5.      Michael Benson, Danny O. Gulson, and Allan Swenson (2003), The Complete Idot’s Guide to National Security, New York, Alpha Books.

6.      Ollorwi M.O. (2009), The New Internationalism & American Foreign Policy Shift: Implications on the Third World, Port Harcourt, Nigerian Institute of Security Publications.

7.      Ollorwi Osaro (2016), The Need for Nigerian Cross-Cultural Council on Security, www.ollorwi.com.ng

8.      Richard W. Lack et al. (1997), Accident Prevention Manual for Business and Industry, Washington DC, National Safety Council.

9.      Tunji Olagunju and Sam Oyovbaire (1991), For Their Tomorrow We Gave Our Today, Jersey, Safari Books (Export) Limited.


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