The Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, has said the spate of insecurity across different parts of the country has resulted in a loss of over 11 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product annually and N12bn worth of projects abandoned.
He made the revelation on Thursday at the 2023 public lecture organised by the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Bwari branch, in Abuja.
The lecture was titled, “National Security as a Panacea for sustainable economic growth: the role of indigenous engineering innovation.”
Although he said insecurity has been curtailed to a large extent, its effect on the economy remains evident.
Represented by the Director, Engineering services, Defence Headquarters, Major General Gat Ochigbano, the CDS said, “Nigeria in the last decade has witnessed several security challenges which include terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and other challenges which are well known.
“The economic cost of insecurity is enormous as violence costs Nigeria over 11 per cent of its Gross domestic product annually while projects worth N12 billion or more have been abandoned across Nigeria due to insecurity.
He said while the role of armed forces in national stability and nation-building cannot be overemphasised, the complex nature of contemporary security challenges requires multi-sectoral and specialised efforts from the society.
Similarly, the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, lamented domination by foreigners in the security engineering sector, adding that security gadgets and equipment used by security agents in the country are imported.
Alkali, who was represented by the AIG, Rudolph Obe said, “To effectively secure the nation, there should be locally developed crime-prevention gadgets, tools, equipment, and facilities. They should be domesticated from conception, bearing our peculiarities in mind, to tackle the security challenges of our nation in particular. This is a wake-up call for Nigeria Engineers and its umbrella body.
“Though the world is said to be a global village, crimes are local, hence, there should be a localised approach to the prevention, fight, and detection of crimes.”
In his remarks, the chairman of the society, Bwari branch, Ijirotimi Olanrewaju, stressed the significance of the defence and security of a sovereign state.
According to him, National security is the path of socioeconomic growth of any nation as there is no economic growth if there is no peace.
He noted that engineers have a great role to play in national security as they are the drivers of technical innovations.
“We therefore must have applied technology and our logical thinking to solving our security challenges,” he said.