The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry says the security challenge in the nation has crippled many private and public investments.
This was contained in a statement signed by the LCCI president, Mrs Toki Mabogunje, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent.
The chamber noted that it was concerned with the worsening security situation in the country.
Mabogunje said, “It is a sad commentary that kidnapping, herders-farmers conflict, ethno-religious violence, vandalism, armed robbery, banditry, arson, and insurgency have become routine occurrences in Nigeria.
“The impact of this security crisis on the Nigerian economy remains profound and multi-dimensional.
“The crisis has crippled many private and public investments across the nation.
“Several businesses and investors in affected areas are currently counting their losses.”
The LCCI boss added that many households had lost their means of livelihoods, while some have been displaced.
While she said many farmlands across the country, especially in in the North and Middle Belt had been destroyed in the process, Mabogunje explained that this had continued to disrupt agricultural activities in these areas.
She said these have severe implications on food production and food distribution from farms to markets.
She said, “We recognise insecurity as a major driver of the persistent increase in food inflation in recent years.
“The worsening security situation will trigger further inflationary pressure on food prices thus exacerbating the poverty conditions in the country.
“This alarming state of insecurity in the country has hampered the movement of goods, services, and persons across the country, with implications for agriculture, agro-allied services, trade and commerce especially in affected areas.
“Transportation and logistics sector, hospitality and allied investments, education, construction, and real estate have been severely impacted by the crisis.”
Mabogunje further noted that the crisis projects the Nigerian economy as an unsafe investment destination, and if unaddressed, would thwart government’s efforts in encouraging private investment inflows into the economy at a time the economy “is in dire need of massive investments to bolster growth recovery, create jobs and alleviate poverty.”
The LCCI further lamented that investors’ confidence had been weak before the Covid-19 outbreak, and many investors still see the Nigerian market as a risky venture despite the oil price recovery, vaccination dissemination and growth recovery.
“We believe confidence will remain weak in the short-term if the situation does not abate,” the chamber added.
Mabogunje while suggesting the way out of the security challenge, she advised the government to decentralise the security eco-system.
This, she believed would help stem the rising tide of insecurity “as it enables other levels of government take key security-related decisions and initiatives within their domain.”
The LCCI thus urged the executive arm of government to liaise with the legislative arm to take security out of the exclusive list of the Nigerian Constitution and include it in the concurrent list.
She said, “The sub-nationals need to play more active roles in the restoration of peace in the country through the creation of a security machinery and architecture that would be controlled by them, subject of course to certain guidelines, especially regarding the rules of engagement.
“There is a need to ensure a concrete and sustainable means of reducing youth unemployment rate through youth employment schemes and programmes. There is a strong correlation between unemployment and criminality.”