Why insecurity worsened in Nigeria, by Aregbesola
• Says #EndSARS crisis carryover of COVID-19 frustrations
• Urges restructuring of markets, transport systems to prevent transmission
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has said that the COVID-19 pandemic contributed immensely to the upsurge of multifaceted insecurity crises and economic woes currently affecting the country.
He also disclosed that the #EndSARS crisis that rocked the country, which left 57 civilians, 37 policemen and six soldiers dead and property worth billions of naira destroyed, was a carryover of the COVID-19 frustrations.
According to him, COVID-19 pandemic led to the partial dismantling of economic activities, caused geometric increase in joblessness and offered opportunities for criminals to recruit the youths into their gangs.
The former Osun State Governor spoke, yesterday, at the Ekiti State University (EKSU), while delivering a lecture entitled: “COVID -19: The Economy and Security,” to mark the third yearly lecture of the Faculty of Arts of the institution.
He warned that unless the nation’s markets, building settlements and transportation systems are revolutionised, there would always be easy transmission of COVID-19 or other communicable diseases in the near future, adding that the country may not be lucky next time.
The minister urged the security forces to always be proactive, saying that once there is instability in the income of people, those in low tolerance threshold will take to crimes.
“The effect of COVID-19 on the economy is humongous. It is not surprising therefore that the GDP fell by 23 per cent, while household incomes fell by 60 per cent. The fall in GDP was largely due to the fact that the four states put under lockdown account for two thirds of the economy.
“This development was a nightmare for the Nigerian economy, considering that oil accounts for 80 per cent of government revenues.”
Aregbesola revealed that the World Bank gave a pathetic account that private remittances of Nigerians in the Diaspora declined by between 80 and 90 per cent in the first quarter and 25 per cent in the whole of 2020.
In his submission, the EKSU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Eddy Olanipekun, stated that the issue of COVID-19 has posed challenges to the country’s social, economic and political affairs, saying time has come for the nation to build a strong response mechanism that can tame emergency situations.
The Dean, Faculty of Arts, Prof. Ibrahim Abdu-Raheem, said the lecture was conceptualised to ruminate on how best the country could handle post-COVID-19 situation and redirect the economy for better prosperity for the nation.