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Tinubu: Force alone can’t end insecurity

•Wants FG to create more jobs to arrest unemployment

 

National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yesterday in Kaduna disclosed that the use of force alone cannot curb the current security challenges bedeviling the country.

 

That was as he proposed the combination of force and economic solution towards the total eradication of the menace.

 

The former Governor of Lagos State spoke as the Chairman at the 11th Annual Arewa House Lecture in Honour of the Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello, in Kaduna.

 

Tinubu argued that enhanced security may be the necessary first step but it cannot be the only step, adding that, Nigeria cannot resolve the problem by holding on to only one-dimensional answers to its problems.

 

He said:”Like I said in my recent statement on the pressing issue of the herder and farmer dispute, we must appreciate that martial security measures alone will not suffice. Problems that are essentially of an economic origin must also have an economic solution.

 

Enhanced security may be the necessary first step, but it cannot be the only step. “We cannot resolve this problem by holding on to one-dimensional answers. We must all be dispassionate in our search for solutions. These challenges are multifaceted and so shall the solutions must be.”

 

The APC Chieftain said: “The issues of insecurity, poverty, unemployment and extremism have many things to do with governance, over time. At bottom, we must tackle our deep and widespread poverty.

 

If we limit government’s role under the erroneous assumption that government spending is intrinsically unproductive, then we tether ourselves to failure.

 

“We would do well to more critically study how other populous nations such as the UK, US, Germany and China charted their course during their formative years. You will see that they did not adhere to small government or the purportedly free market.

 

Government engaged in massive spending on infrastructure and education while also engaging in policies that protected industrial development and key aspects of the agricultural sector.

 

Only when they matured and held advantages over other nations, did the UK and US begin to champion free markets and small governments. We would do well to understand this history and learn what it means for our own pursuit of    development,” he said.

 

Speaking on the paper presented by the Guest Speaker and Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, entitled; ‘Reducing The Cost of Governance

 

For Inclusive Growth and Youth Development in Post Covid-19 Northern Nigeria’, Tinubu said, fiscal wisdom but not necessarily austerity is required for an economy like Nigeria in a time like this, to ensure equitable wealth redistribution and meaningful use of resources.

 

He noted that the , “cost of governance is always a key factor in the socio-economic development of any nation. But it is also one side of an important coin. We must not look at the cost alone.

 

We must weigh the cost against the benefits derived there from. For example, one can pay a high cost on a productive enterprise but reap a higher benefit.

 

Such would be considered a good investment. “However, one can pay a low cost but reap no benefit at all because the endeavour was inherently unproductive. This would be a waste. Thus, we must be careful in what we say and truly mean when we talk of the costs of governance.

 

“The development of any populous nation has always been dependent on the ability of government to allocate sufficient funds to projects and programs that create and encourage enduring growth and employment. We must reject that mode of thinking that assumes government expenditure, is inherently unproductive as well as harmful to the overall economy.

 

“It is not the fact that government expenditure is intrinsically wrong any more than one can say all private sector activity is economically positive. Government can be wasteful or it can be the key component to growth just as a private sector business can function profitably or spend itself into bankruptcy.

 

The issue is not whether government is spending money or not. The real issue is the economic utility and quality of the expenditure.

 

“The years have shown that the private sector is much too weak to spur the growth we need. If the private sector could manage this feat, it would have already done so.

 

Where the private sector is too weak or unable, the government must fill the void. This means government must not be afraid to embark on an activist fiscal policy to create jobs, build infrastructure and develop our industrial sector as well as continue to improve agriculture.

 

This means government must spend money but spend it on those things that bring the requisite economic returns for the nation. “Here, one must make the point about the urgency of the need to think outside of the box in finding solutions to the challenges posed by our unemployed youth.

 

Because of the currency issuing power of the Federal Government, it is not bound to balance budgets like individuals and state governments are. Moreover, because of this currency power, federal expenditures are not constrained by federal tax or revenue intake.

 

“Those nations that recovered most quickly from the 2009 economic crisis and now from COVID-19 are those nations that most engaged in government stimulus spending to revive their flagging economies.

 

This was not by accident. It is due to purposeful policy and the deeper understanding of the nature of money and the role of a national government in saving a flagging economy.

 

Tinubu also extolled the virtues of Sardauna, saying, the late Sir Ahmadu Bello was more than just the premier of the Northern region, noting that, his nation-building contributions can never be overstated and should never be forgotten.

 

“He laboured tirelessly and with great tact and intelligence. Working together with other shining lights such as the late sage Papa Obafemi Awolowo and the esteemed Nnamdi Azikiwe, this great Sardauna of Sokoto helped establish Nigeria as one indivisible and independent nation.”

 

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