By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. George Akume, says impactful development is a major solution to security challenges.
Akume said this while delivering a paper titled, “Leadership, Policy Implementation, and Development in Nigeria”.
The the paper was presented at the 12th Leadership Lecture Series organised by the Centre for Leadership and Complex Military Operations, Nigerian Defence Academy, on Saturday in Abuja.
The SGF was represented by a retired Federal Permanent Secretary, Dr Olusegun Adekunle.
He said that Nigeria, like most other nations, had grappled with security challenges for over a decade, adding that there was a nexus between leadership, policy implementation, development and security.
According to him, when a country experiences significant development in various sectors, such as education, healthcare, infrastructure, and economic opportunities, it can lead to improved security conditions.
The SGF said that development initiatives, such as job creation, entrepreneurship programmes, and investments in industries, could help alleviate poverty and reduce inequality.
This, according to him, would minimise social unrest, crime, and extremist ideologies driven by economic desperation.
He added that development projects enhance social cohesion and inclusion, promote dialogue, and address grievances by fostering inclusive societies where citizens have equal access to opportunities and feel represented.
“Development can help build trust, strengthen community bonds, and reduce intergroup tensions that may lead to conflicts.
“Investing in quality education equips individuals with skills, knowledge, and critical thinking abilities because education can promote tolerance, respect for diversity, and awareness of human rights, which are essential for building peaceful societies.
“It can also contribute to countering radicalisation and extremism by providing alternative paths for vulnerable individuals.
“Development initiatives that improve infrastructure, including roads, hospitals, schools, and access to clean water and sanitation, benefit communities in multiple ways.
“Adequate infrastructure enhances citizens’ quality of life, boosts economic activities, and provides essential services that contribute to stability and security.”
Akume added that strengthening governance systems can help prevent corruption, promote the rule of law, ensure equal access to justice, and build strong institutions capable of maintaining security and stability.
“By investing in impactful development strategies, our country Nigeria can address root causes of insecurity and mitigate the risks of conflicts and security challenges thereby create environments conducive to peace and stability,” he said.
Akume said it was important to recognise that development alone might not be sufficient and should be complemented by other measures, such as conflict resolution efforts, peacebuilding initiatives, and effective security institutions.
He said the administration of President Bola Tinubu had brought into governance, experience, energy, capacity and commitment that fits into leadership, policy and development.
According to him, six months on the saddle, the government has taken strategic steps on its eight priority areas around which policies and legislations are being developed for implementation, development and growth.
“As a way of reminder, the priority areas are food security, ending poverty, economic growth and job creation, access to capital and inclusivity,” he added.
The Director, Centre for Leadership and Complex Military Operations, NDA, Dr. Bem Audu., said the lecture series was designed to match the concept in the practice of leadership.
Audu said the series would also give the participants the opportunity to interact and understand government policies and their implemention and how they contribute to national development.
According to him, most times we make criticisms of government without actually understanding the issues involved.
“So this is a platform that we have deliberately designed to ensure that practice meet theory so that people can understand the policies of government and how they are implemented and be better aware and also contribute to development of Nigeria.
“So what we’re doing basically is to see to the extent to which we can generate this knowledge and transfer it to as many as possible, and security is the core of what we do,” he said.
Hajiya Mariam Hamza, Deputy Head of the center, said the lecture series was a platform where theory meet with practice, where ideas of shared issues were being clarified and questions been answered.
Hamza said that identifying solutions to national challenges require all hands to be on deck.
A participant, retired Lt.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, former Chief of Policy and Plans (Army), said that right leadership, and policy implementation were key to achieving development by any nation, adding that there was no one-fit solution to challenges. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Maharazu Ahmed