By James Shim
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF) Senator George Akume has proffered solutions to the country’s security challenges.
Senator Akume said such challenges can be addressed through impactful development.
He said there was a nexus between leadership, policy implementation, development and security.
The SGF’s solutions were contained in a paper he presented at the 12th Leadership Lecture Series organised by the Centre for Leadership and Complex Military Operations, Nigerian Defence Academy NDA, Saturday in Abuja.
He also said significant developments in education, health care, infrastructure and economic opportunities can lead to improved security conditions.
Senator Akume, who was represented by a retired Federal Permanent Secretary, Dr Olusegun Adekunle said, development initiatives such as job creation, entrepreneurship Programmes, and investments in industries could help alleviate poverty and reduce inequality, thus, minimize social unrest, crimes and extremist ideologies which are mostly driven by economic desperation.
According to him, development projects enhance social cohesion and inclusion, promote dialogue and address grievances by fostering inclusive societies where citizens have equal access to opportunities and feel represented.
“Development Can help build trust, strengthen Community bonds, and reduce intergroup tensions that may lead to conflicts”
“Investing in quality education equips individuals with skills, knowledge, and critical thinking abilities because education can promote tolerance, respect for diversity, and awareness of human rights essential for building peaceful societies
“It can also contribute to countering radicalization and extremism by providing alternative paths for vulnerable individuals
“Development initiatives that improve infrastructure including roads,hospitals, schools, and access to clean water and sanitation, benefit communities in multiple ways, he said.
The SGF stated that, strengthening governance systems can help prevent corruption, promote the rule of law, ensure equal access to justice, and build strong institutions capable of maintaining security and stability.
“By investing in impactful development strategies our country Nigeria can address root causes of insecurity and mitigate the risks of conflicts and security challenges thereby create environments conducive to peace and stability.
He suggested that development should be complemented by other measures such as conflict resolution efforts, peace building initiatives, and effective security institutions.
According to him, the administration of President Bola Tinubu has brought into governance, experience, energy, capacity and commitment that fits into leadership, policy and development.
“Six months on the saddle, the government has taken strategic steps on its 8 priority areas around which policies and legislations are being developed for implementation, development and growth.
“As a way of reminder, the priority areas are food security, ending poverty, economic growth and job creation, access to capital and inclusivity”, Akume explained.
Meanwhile, the Director, Center for Leadership and Complex Military Operations, Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA, Dr Bem Audu had said the Lecture Series was designed to match the concept of practice of leadership.
He said it would also give participants the opportunities to interact and understand government policies and their implementation and how they contribute to national development.
“So this is the platform that we have deliberately designed to ensure that practice meet theory so that people can understand the policies of government and how they are implemented and be better aware and also contribute to the development of Nigeria.
“What we are doing basically is to see to the extent to which we can generate this knowledge and transfer it to as many as possible and security is the core of what we do” he said.
The Deputy Head of the Center, Hajiya Mariam Hamza, in her contribution restated the ideals of the lecture, adding that it is where ideas of shared issues are being clarified and questions been answered.
She said identifying solutions to national challenges require all hands on the deck.
Rtd Lt Gen Lamidi Adeosun, a former Chief of Policy and Plans( Army), who was also a participant in the Lecture, said that right leadership and policy implementation were key to achieving development by any nation, and that there was no one- fit solution to challenges.