In the midst of Nigeria’s ongoing battle with insecurity, the departing French Ambassador, Ms. Emmanuelle Blatmann, has emphasized the detrimental impact it has on the nation’s prospects for economic greatness. While acknowledging Nigeria’s potential to be a global economic powerhouse, she expressed her concern that security challenges are hindering the country’s progress. Blatmann, who is transitioning to the role of Director for Africa and the Indian Ocean at the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, urged Nigeria to address its security issues, emphasizing the positive economic outcomes that could follow.
Highlighting the consequences of insecurity on the international stage, Blatmann shared a scenario where European countries, grappling with energy supply concerns due to the conflict in Ukraine, turned to Nigeria for solutions. However, Nigeria’s inability to meet the demand, heightened by insecurity and oil bunkering activities, led these European nations to seek alternative sources. This missed opportunity, she lamented, could have significantly boosted Nigeria’s oil sector, bringing about an economic boom. Addressing specific challenges within the oil and gas sector, Blatmann expressed frustration over the impact of oil bunkering on Nigeria’s capacity to fulfill existing contracts and quotas set by OPEC.
Negative business repercussions trail insecurity in Nigeria.
She underscored the negative repercussions, such as the closure of some oil exploration companies attributing their shutdowns to the high incidence of oil theft from pipelines. For sustainable business operations and the attraction of investments, she said that enhancing security is imperative. Despite these challenges, Blatmann recognized Nigeria’s vast potential and opportunities. France, she stated, is fully aware of this potential and has made substantial investments in the country. She highlighted France as the second-largest contributor of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Nigeria, with the French development bank, Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD), actively providing concessional loans to support Nigerian initiatives.
Over the past decade, French investment in Nigeria has doubled, resulting in French companies employing over 10,000 Nigerians. Emphasizing the significance of French-Nigerian economic ties, Blatmann asserted that Nigeria consistently ranks among the top five countries benefiting from substantial French investments, surpassing many major Francophone African nations. Despite acknowledging the hurdles posed by insecurity, she remained optimistic about Nigeria’s potential for growth and prosperity. On the domestic front, the Nigerian government has undertaken various initiatives to address the pervasive insecurity. The federal government has implemented strategies such as increased military presence, intelligence gathering, and collaboration with regional and international partners to combat insurgency, banditry, and other security threats.
FG has put in efforts to improve security of the country.
Additionally, there have been efforts to improve community policing and engage in dialogue with stakeholders to foster a more inclusive approach to security. In recent years, the government has also invested in social programs aimed at addressing the root causes of insecurity, such as poverty, unemployment, and lack of education. These initiatives include youth empowerment programs, skill acquisition schemes, and infrastructure development projects in vulnerable communities. The goal is to create a conducive environment for economic activities, reduce the appeal of criminality, and enhance overall security.
However, challenges persist, and the government continues to adapt its strategies to effectively tackle the multifaceted nature of insecurity. Collaborative efforts between the federal, state, and local governments, as well as active involvement from the private sector, are crucial for achieving sustainable security and fostering an environment conducive to economic growth. While Nigeria grapples with the complex issue of insecurity, it is essential to recognize the ongoing efforts of the federal government and international partnerships aimed at addressing these challenges. The departure of the French Ambassador serves as a reminder of the urgent need to prioritize security to unlock Nigeria’s full economic potential on the global stage.
Related Article: Ongoing insecurity in Nigeria raises concerns
Meanwhile, Nigeria is currently grappling with a severe escalation of insecurity, marked by persistent challenges ranging from insurgent activities to rampant banditry. The nation’s security landscape is increasingly complex, posing significant threats to both citizens and economic stability. Incidences of kidnappings, attacks on communities, and conflicts between herders and farmers have surged, creating an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty. The government’s efforts to curb these issues face obstacles, with a need for comprehensive strategies that address root causes and enhance collaboration among security agencies. The heightened insecurity not only jeopardizes lives but also hampers economic growth and foreign investments, underscoring the urgency of effective measures to restore stability and ensure the safety of the Nigerian populace.