Security, Good Governance, Critical to Sustainable Devt, Says FG – THISDAY Newspapers
By Ndubuisi Francis
The federal government has declared that security and good governance are foundational and fundamental pillars for the attainment of sustainable development.
The government stated that in spite of paucity of funds, security agencies are prioritised in the allocation of limited revenues, adding that despite the 5.01 per cent second quarter growth in gross domestic product (GDP), there is still a lot of work to be done to achieve sustainable development.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, stated these in a paper she presented in Abuja, Friday at the Executive Intelligence Management Course 14 of the National Institute for Security with the theme, ‘Governance, Security and Sustainable Development in Africa: Nexus, Challenges and Prospects”.
To underscore the premium paid to security, she said about 86 per cent of the 2021 Supplementary Budget was dedicated to the capital and recurrent expenditure needs of the security agencies to supplement the allocations in the 2021 amended budget.
According to her, several initiatives to promote good governance are also funded through the federal budget supplemented with the assistance of development partners.
Ahmed noted that the constraints posed by insecurity and misgovernance on sustainable development are multifaceted and require an all hands-on-deck approach.
She said: “The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning under my leadership plays a critical role in ensuring the funding requirements for the various MDAs involved in achieving this objective, including the security agencies, are met in a timely and predictable fashion.
“However, at the ministry, we envision our role as extending beyond facilitation to actively engaging in the design and delivery of initiatives which directly contribute to building the superstructure of good governance and security in Nigeria, all within the mandate of our ministry and its agencies.”
But she observed that although good governance and security are instrumental to sustainable development, she was of the belief that causality also runs in the other direction with growth and economic development creating a safe and secure environment where all Nigerians can pursue their livelihoods.
Despite the 5.01 per cent second quarter growth in gross domestic product (GDP), she declared that there is still a lot of work to be done to achieve sustainable development.
“The most recent GDP data, which reports real GDP growth of 5.01% in the second quarter of 2021, is very encouraging news as it indicates the Nigerian economy is on a solid path to recovery.
“It is important to note that much of the growth was driven by the expansion of the non-oil sector of the economy where most Nigerians are employed.
“We recognise there is still much to be done and will continue to work closely with all the relevant stakeholders in Nigeria, including the officers of the Executive Intelligence Management Course 14, who are representatives of our brave and valiant security forces, to make Nigeria a safe and secure environment conducive to sustainable development,” the minister stated.
Citing the African Development Bank (AfDB), she pointed out that the annual global cost of conflict is estimated at $100 billion, adding that fragile and conflict-afflicted states are found to lag behind on most development indicators, experiencing higher levels of malnutrition, child mortality and school completion rates.
Insecurity, the minister said, discourages investment, lowers productivity and destroys livelihoods, adding that progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) was found to be slowest in fragile and conflict-afflicted countries and for this reason, human security is viewed as essential to the attainment of the SDGs.
“A consensus has emerged recognising security as a precondition for sustainable development. Security agencies are an intrinsic and essential element of the governance structure of any nation with the level of security determining the sustainability of development.
“In the absence of security, the governance structures in a nation state are vulnerable to collapse, thus undermining sustainable development.
“Thus, security and good governance are foundational and fundamental to the attainment of sustainable development.
“They form a critical part of the super-structure on which economic growth and development can be achieved in any country,” she declared.