The continuous rise in Insecurity and deterioration in the economic development in Nigeria call for a concern among researchers and policy makers over the years. However, these two hydra-headed problems still remain the greatest challenges facing nations all over the world. This study therefore, examines the implication of insecurity on economic development in Nigeria. With the use of trend analysis, descriptive statistics and Pearson correlation of failed state index, human development index and Legatum’s prosperity index, the study reveal an inverse relationship between insecurity and economic development in the country. to ensure economic development in Nigeria therefore, the study recommends various measures of curbing insecurity including preventive community policing, human development centered growth perspective, equitable distribution of resources as well as channeling of resources to frontline sectors of the economy among others.
Background to the Study
The return to democratic rule in Nigeria on May 29th, 1999 presented Nigerians with fresh hopes and latent optimism. This is because the people were of the hope that democracy could guarantee freedom, liberty, and equity and enhances the security of lives and properties which are the panacea for the much needed sustainable economic growth and development of the nation. About eighteen years after this fresh hope was offered, the realities on the ground suggest that the hope and optimism has remained a mirage. According to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics, over ten million Nigerians were unemployed by March 2009. As Otto and Ukpere, (2012) observed, the figure on unemployment keep increasing geometrically yearly with less realistic effort by the managers of the state to abate the rampaging unemployment problem. Nwanegbo and Odigbo, (2013) agreed with the view above when they further opined that majority of the population seem to lack access to pipe borne water, health care facilities, electricity and affordable quality education.
This scenario painted above aided the Nigeria security situation to deteriorate drastically. Since the return to democratic rule in May 1999, Nigeria has witnessed a number of security challenges associated with militancy, kidnapping, armed robbery, political assassination, arms proliferation, piracy and ethno-religious conflicts. The security challenges have assumed a formidable dimension forcing the country’s political and economic managers and, indeed the entire nation, to rue the loss of their loved ones, investments and absence of safety in most part of the country (Onifade, Imhonopi and Urim, 2013). The various governments since May 1999, has tried different methods aimed at ameliorating the devastating effect of insecurity without any useful result. When it seems that the government is achieving good result in one, another will rare it ugly head. The reason for government failure to address this issue of insecurity satisfactorily may not be unconnected with government failure in meeting the developmental needs of the people which has forced them into forming alliance in different forms that has succeeded in breading what Onifade, Imhonopi and Urim,(2013) refers to increasing ethnic hate, religious bigotry, political rivalry and a growing population of disgruntle citizens in the country who feel they have been short-changed and given very limited or no access to the common patrimony. This is consistent with the findings of Egwu, (2001) who observed that the primordial tendencies of various ethnic groups towards violence, the perennial eruption of various ethnic militias and the preponderant religious fundamentalism in place, given expression to by some sections of the dominant religious establishment in Nigeria, have inevitably aggravated the scale and propensity of insecurity and widened its scope in various ramifications.
The effect of insecurity is very obvious as it presents itself in the destruction of few available infrastructures needed for the industrial growth and development of the nation. No country of the world can develop without the needed prerequisite for growth and development. With the huge outlay of government resources spent on curbing the menace of insecurity and the attendant destruction of the few existing infrastructure, one can assume that the challenges that insecurity posed to development is enormous.
Therefore, this study examines the implication of insecurity on economic development in Nigeria. It seeks to x-ray the major security challenges hindering economic development in the country.
This study is divided into five (5) sections. Following the introduction is the literature review which contains conceptual explanation of insecurity and economic development, the various areas of Nigeria security challenges, the theoretical link between security and economic development and implication of insecurity to economic development. Section three, four and five contains the methodology, results and conclusion and recommendations respectively.