- CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele has been commended for his focus on funding security agencies in Nigeria
- The apex bank governor was also hailed for his commitment to food security in Nigeria through various initiatives
- The commendation for the bank chief was by a public affairs analyst, who also pointed out Emefiele's determination to ensure cyber security in the country
FCT, Abuja - Stanley Ebube, an expert in public affairs, has said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele has been at the forefront of the significant amount of resources so far expended to push back violent extremism and other forms of criminalities in Nigeria.
Ebube made this known in a statement he sent to journalists in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on Thursday, March 3.
He said Emefiele's strong determination to ensure that resources designated to the fight against insurgency and other criminal activities move seamlessly is partly due to the fact that he has been a direct victim of the dangerous effect of insecurity.
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“In 2016, his wife, Margaret Emefiele, was one of about six people abducted by gunmen along Benin-Agbor road. It was gathered that the hoodlums who intercepted Mrs Emefiele's vehicle shot her orderly, who attempted to resist the operation. She was released two days later on October 1, 2016.
“Indeed, Nigeria has been spending scarce foreign exchange to procure military equipment and hardware for the fight against insecurity. Yet, it’s concerning that in the 2020 Global Terrorism Index released late last year, the country still remained in the third spot, the fifth time in a row since 2015.
“From 2015 to date, security budgets have been on the increase just as total national budgets increased. The funding covers the main security agencies, including the Army, Air Force, and the Navy, the intelligence agencies as well as the interior ministry, which is in charge of homeland security, including the Nigerian Police Force.
“Checks from the Budget Office of the Federation and at the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation showed a consistent record of full release and cash-backed allocations to the agencies domiciled in the Ministry of Defence, Interior and ONSA throughout the period under review.
“This takes considerable and deliberate effort by Emefiele’s CBN because the apex bank has to constantly, continuously, and creatively source the very scarce foreign exchange required for the procurement of military equipment and hardware.”
Ebube further noted that there are at least five major components of modern national security.
He said it includes the collective ability of a country to protect its people, interests, values, and critical infrastructure; grow and develop its economy; prepare and respond to natural disasters, environmental degradation, and climate change.
He also pointed out the ability to provide food security and secure its digital footprint against cyber attacks.
According to him, the area that has received Emefiele's most direct intervention among these components is food security.
“Making the connection between food security and national security shouldn’t be hard really.
“In this context, it becomes clearer why the CBN, under the leadership of its current governor, is investing in interventions that are boosting local production of agricultural products and enhancing food security.
“Another component of national security where Emefiele’s CBN has been actively involved is the area of cyber security.
“This has led to the setting up of the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NEFF). The forum consists of all relevant stakeholders on cyber security issues charged with the responsibility to actively and proactively react to this challenge to safeguard the integrity of the e-payment channels.
“In fact, the recent ban on cryptocurrency by the CBN, which also culminated in the creation of Nigeria’s own digital currency - e-Naira - was backed by intelligence that terrorists, their promoters, and other criminals were exploiting the lack of third-party regulation of digital currencies to fund terror-related activities in Nigeria.
“There is also the threat of ransomware attacks, which have increasingly targeted businesses and companies, disrupting the flow of products and services and demanding payments in the form of, cryptocurrency.
“All these points to the fact that, even in an area of perceived limited know-how, Emefiele has shown a deft understanding of the country's overall national security goals.”
FG to spend N3.53trillion on infrastructure, human capital development in 2022
Meanwhile, the minister of finance, budget, and national planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, has revealed that the federal government will spend N3.53 trillion on infrastructure and human capital development in the year 2022.
She stated this during a town hall meeting organised by the ministry of information and culture in Abuja on Tuesday, February 22, and attended by a Legit.ng reporter.
The minister said Nigeria’s huge and growing population offered both an economic challenge and opportunity in the light of constrained revenue proceeds brought on by several multi-dimensional factors, including the global pandemic and its impact on the local economy.
Infrastructural development: FG stresses need for partnership with Nigerian engineers
In a related development, President Muhammadu Buhari has charged Nigerian engineers to partner with the federal government for the rapid infrastructural development of the country.
The president said this on Saturday, January 22 during the investiture ceremony of the 33rd national president and chairman-in-council of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engineer Tasiu Sa’ad Gidari-Wudil, at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
The president, who was the distinguished guest of honour and represented by the minister of science and technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, told the audience his administration has made significant progress in the infrastructural development of the country.