‘FG needs to address insecurity, revive economy in 2021’
As Nigerians ushered in the New Year with hopes and aspirations, many believe that their dreams for a fulfilling 2021 can only achieved in a peaceful and secured environment. Those who spoke to our correspondents called for a more radical approach to tackling issues of banditry as well as revamping the economy. Excerpts:
For me, government really needs to work hard to come up with policies and programmes that can transform the lives of Nigerians from this hardship we are currently facing. It’s almost two years into the second tenure of this administration, yet, I do not see the impacts of their “next level agenda" they so much proclaimed at the beginning of this tenure.
As we speak, Nigeria's economy is in a very bad shape, with food prices skyrocketing with most household meeting up with their domestic needs, yet no measures in place to put things in proper perspective. Our political leaders are focusing on 2023 general election, instead of implementing policies and programme that have direct impact in the lives of ordinary Nigerians.
For me, the attention of government should be more on how the ordinary Nigerian can reap the dividend of democracy.
We expect a lot of transformation this New Year. Government has actually done well in the previous year, but there is still room for improvement.
Although government has been on top of the situation, when they came on board in 2015 and the security architecture was in a bad shape, but they only concentrated on urban areas, and left the hinterland which has now becomes the centre of armed banditry, insurgency, and kidnapping.
I will want the government to put in more effort to tackling insecurity. The high rate of insecurity in the country, especially in the northern part of Nigeria, is getting out of control.
The primary responsibility of government is to protect lives and property of its citizens. If the insecurity in the country continues, it then means that government has failed. In this New Year, Nigerians expect to sleep with their two eye close. Even foreign investors will be afraid to come into the country to invest. We cannot continue this way.
I expect security agencies to leverage on their earlier efforts to forestall further break down of peace in our nation Nigeria.
The past year should be an eye opener for those at the helm of affairs. Nobody envisaged the Covid-19 pandemic that is still spreading like wildfire around the globe. It is therefore imperative that Government at all levels strengthen our health sector, so that our health workers would have the necessary equipment and capacity to work effectively.
Also, more funds should be disbursed for medical research purposes, as research is the bedrock for development of a nation. Imperatively, this research funds must also be made easily accessible and not encumbered by bureaucratic bottlenecks or politics.
I believe that the educational sector (especially the public schools) was the most hit by the pandemic as both the teachers and students are not well trained for virtual/digital education.
A large proportion of the public educators are not IT compliant and as a result were unable to conduct online classes. To remedy this, government should ensure the mandatory training and retraining of all Teachers to boost their ICT capacity for qualitative education.
The current level of insecurity in the country has shown how poorly equipped we are to fight external or even internal aggression if the need ever arises. Our security system is in a shambles as lives and properties are no longer secured. In other to mitigate this, security personnel should be well trained and equipped to carry out their duties effectively. If need be, more individuals should be recruited into the force to help combat crime in the society.
Before now, the cost of feeding was very affordable as most people could afford a three square meal. This isn't the case anymore. Government should mop-up funds for farmers to ensure the purchase of agricultural equipment and fertilizers, as this would go a long way in ensuring that the problems of food insecurity is contained.
Going forward, the government should enact citizen friendly civil right laws and policies.
We bless God that despite the economic and social challenges occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic those who would survive have and have seen the year 2021. There were killings, kidnappings, the Boko-Haram insurgency in the North East, banditry and the End-SARS protests which resulted in avoidable destruction and widespread looting of public property.
We will therefore expect government to be more focused in the area of security. The security agencies should be more pro-active in tackling cases of insurgency and armed banditry. The challenges that have been thrown on all nations of the world by Covid-19 should be tackled head-on by evolving new ways of doing things so that our children are not kept out of schools unnecessarily.
Our universities should be opened and government should engage in sustainable dialogue with the lecturers so as to avoid any further breach of any of the agreements. Above all, our president should be talking to us and responding to our needs and aspirations.
The economy should be rejigged to check inflation and while borders are now opened let it not be at the expense of our locally produced products.
Above all, our president should provide equal opportunities for all Nigerians to feel a sense of belonging instead of the present imbalance in appointments and distribution of social amenities.
We expect better and improved security in the country. Though the second wave of corona pandemic is threatening, we hope the government would not order another lock down because Nigeria cannot afford another lock down, our economy will suffer for it.
President Muhammadu Buhari should look towards ensuring fair and equitable distribution of positions, as the father of the nation he must thrive to unite the nation. We're too divided at the moment.
In this New Year 2021, it is my sincere prayers that God will give the leadership at all levels, the wisdom and courage to be able to tackle out security challenges head on. The blood bath in the country is very worrisome. There is no part of the country that is spared. Hardly does a day go by without hearing of one disaster and another.
I am happy that the federal government has suspended the planned hike in electricity tariff. That is quite commendable as the financial burden is much for most Nigerians especially as we are currently in a recession.
In the area of employment, every day the universities are churning graduates in their numbers and there is nowhere to get them engaged. So it is for our government to get our curriculum to include entrepreneurial studies so that people who go into school and come out can become job providers instead of job seekers, because the truth is that the government alone cannot employ everybody.
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