- Insecurity Biggest Challenge in 2021
The Federal Government on Thursday assessed its war against terror in the North Eastern part of the country in the outgoing year 2021, saying it has been able to neutralise the insurgents.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who addressed a press conference in Lagos, said no fewer than 1000 terrorists were neutralised.
He said while 22,000 insurgents surrendered, 2000 civilians were rescued in the outgoing year in addition to the Many arms and ammunition which were recovered, adding that several IED/bomb making factories of the ISWAP and Boko Haram terrorists were destroyed.
Mohammad acknowledged that the biggest challenge of the Federal Government in the outgoing year is insecurity.
According to him, despite the challenge, the military has been able to live up to expectations.
“For the outgoing year in particular, the major challenge has been that of insecurity. In spite of this and the usual economic challenges, especially the dwindling resources available to the government, the Administration has availed itself creditably, as we will be demonstrating shortly.
“Gentlemen, in the North East Zone under Operation HADIN KAI, a combination of kinetic and non-kinetic operations, coupled with a review of strategies, led to the neutralization of over 1000 terrorists, rescue of 2000 civilians and the surrender of over 22,000 terrorists including their families.
“Despite the enormity of the challenge, our military has continued to live up to their billing,” he said.
The Minister explained that to keep the country safe, the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) set up various operations across the country.
According to the Minister, the effectiveness of the military was enhanced by the leadership provided by President Muhammadu Buhari and the unwavering commitment of the armed forces and its leadership.
He stated that the procurement of “modern platforms for the armed forces” also helped “in raising the level of their operational readiness and efficiency, in addition to boosting their capabilities.”
In the area of economy, the Minister stated that the recovery of the economy remained on a “steady path” throughout the year, recalling that the Nigerian economy was hit by the pandemic in mid- 2020, and the economic disruptions led to a recession.
“The poor performance of the economy during the COVID-19 era affected output growth, trade, household welfare and livelihood. However, this led to a quick response by the federal government with the rolling out of effective fiscal and monetary policies as well as health-related policies intended to curb the spread of the pandemic and mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic on the economy.
“This has yielded considerable results. For example, the country’s domestic growth in the first three quarters of 2021 was positive, recording real GDP of 0.51 percent in Q1, 5.01 percent in Q2 and 4.03 percent in Q3 2021, This was an improvement from a declining performance in the first three quarters of 2020 (which led to economic recession) put at 1.87 percent in Q1, -6.10 percent in Q2 and -3.62 percent in Q3 2020.
“Nevertheless, the fourth quarter 2020 recorded a slight improvement of 0.11 percent, ushering in positive growth rates in the three quarters of 2021. This economic performance in 2021 shows a steady improvement in growth over the last three quarters of 2020, and this can be attributed to government policies and strategies such as the Economic Sustainability Plan; the N500 billion COVID 19 Crisis Intervention Fund etc.”
Mohammed reiterated that in spite of daunting challenges, the country made tremendous progress in 2021 in fighting insecurity, growing the economy, reforming the oil sector to spur more investments, emplacing world-class infrastructure, providing social safety net for the poor and most vulnerable in the society and also taking advantage of the huge opportunities offered by the Information and Communications Technology Sector.
He added, “What we have done here is to highlight the major achievements, hence this is by no means exhaustive. That’s why we are also giving you a list of 100 achievements of the Buhari Administration in 2021, Success is not measured by the number of challenges you face, but by how you tackle the challenges. This is what the Administration has demonstrated by tackling insecurity headlong while also growing and diversifying the economy.
“We want to most sincerely thank all Nigerians for their support and perseverance. We want to reassure the nation that President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to leave a legacy of a safe, secure and prosperous nation. We urge Nigerians not to relent in supporting our security forces, who continue to make sacrifices to keep our country safe.”