Nigeria must tackle poverty, unemployment to address insecurity problems says Okowa

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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state has blamed the high rate of poverty and geometric rise in population for the security challenges stating that they are inhibiting the socio-economic development of the country.

Okowa stated this when the Country’s Representative of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), Vladimir Kreck, and the Director-General of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Prof. Abubakar Suleiman, paid him a courtesy to the government house in Asaba.

The governor said there was the need to look at the totality of the governance approach to security reforms and not just about security agencies. He said that the nation needed reforms in the security sector to mitigate its security challenges.

He said that when poverty is combined with high population, it would lead to a very big problem, because one would be giving room to families that would continue to breed more and more poverty.

“Many a times, we blame the security agencies, rather than addressing the root causes of the challenges. The nation must address the critical issues concerning poverty and unemployment as well as the growing family size as a way of tackling insecurity in the country,” Okowa said.

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“The security situation in the country is as a result of the multiplicity of challenges that we have.

“The unemployment situation is high, there is no doubt; the level of education is low. So, when there is a lot of ignorance, the poverty rate is high and when you have a combination of all these, and more importantly is the fact that the population size is high.”

“It creates a situation that the country would find very difficult to manage and that is exactly where we are heading to. So, it is important that we look into the entire foundation to ascertain where we had gone wrong.

“As we address the reforms in terms of approach, information gathering and even going into modern architecture, we must address the issues concerning poverty and unemployment and the growing family size,” he said.

He said that until Nigerians were able to address the root cause of security challenges which borders on poverty, unemployment and the growing family size, they might not be able to tackle security issues frontally.

“As populated as Nigeria is, the more secure that we are as a country, the better for the world because if we are not able to secure ourselves, we will create problems not only for ourselves, we create problems for the world.

“So, I pray that your assistance will help in one way or the other to help lighten the security burden that we have at the moment.

“With the cooperation of both national and sub-national governments, I am sure that we will definitely be in a position to begin to carry out reforms that will gradually change the scenario as we see it as today, because it is not the best,” he said.

Earlier, Vladimir Kreck said that the mandate of the German Foundation was to support democracy and good governance, adding that they were in the state to promote the capacity of the legislature through training workshops.

He, therefore, commended Okowa for sustained support to the state legislature, in order to build capacity through training.