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Some academics on Monday advised governments to increase spending on social services and infrastructure to tackle insecurity.

The academics made the call in Kaduna at the opening of an international conference with the theme: “Insecurity and National Development”.

The conference was organised by the Faculty of Social Sciences, Kaduna State University (KASU).

In a keynote address, Dr Muhammad Sagagi, Vice Chairman, Presidential Economic Advisory Council, identified low spending on social services and social infrastructure as one of the triggers of insecurity.

Sagagi argued that the less governments spend on social services like education, health and other basic services, the more problems they create for the country.

He also said that poor economic growth and development outcomes was another major trigger of insecurity, particularly when the economy does not grow at par with population growth.

“Spending less on social infrastructure and social services with the country’s growing population will create an army of unhappy people.

“These people will be looking for jobs that are not available, while others cannot access quality education and health services,” he said.

He added that the pervasive poverty in the country was another issue that was compounding the insecurity situation.

“With this high level of poverty, more than 15,000 babies are born daily in the northern part of the country.

“This translates to 5.5 million babies every year of which the economy cannot support the growing population.

“At the national level, the economy is growing annually at 1 per cent, while the population is growing at 3.5 per cent. This is not good enough.

“We also have a problem where more than 3.5 people enter the labour market every year and there is no job for them,” he said.

He said that the way out was for the governments would be to increase the quantity and quality of spending in social services.

He also urged the governments to control population growth and optimise its economic resources by strengthening the potential of critical sectors of the economy.

Also, the lead paper presenter, Prof. Nazifi Darma, a professor of Development Economics, University of Jos, described education as a crucial social service.

Darma, a Special Adviser to the Senate President on Economic Matters, said that to holistically tackle insecurity, governments must address the issue of economic stagnation.

He also advised the governments on increasing spending of social services through a national development planning approach, where resources are judiciously allocated among competing social needs for sustainable development.

“We also need to promote good governance and quality leadership, because without it, all efforts toward ending insecurity for development to thrive will be futile,” he said.

Earlier, the Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, KASU, Dr Aminu Usman, said that the conference was organised for academics to proffer ways to tackle the lingering insecurity and deteriorating economic situation in the country.

The Vice-Chancellor of KASU, Prof. Muhammad Tanko, said that the university would continue to contribute to national development through proving platform for robust discourse on issues of national interest by the academics.


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