In the midst of chronic unemployment level being experienced in the country, with apparent state of hopelessness by the Nigerian youths, President Muhammadu Buhari told them Thursday that they must “behave” in order to attract jobs and investment.
According to President Buhari who spoke on Arise Television, he said security was essential in order for investment in the country, where unemployment rose to 33.3 percent in the fourth quarter.
“Nobody is going to invest in an insecure environment. So I told them, I said they should tell the youth that if they want jobs, they will behave themselves,” Buhari said. “Make sure that the area is secure. So that people can come in and invest.”
Nigeria has struggled with high unemployment and rapid population growth for decades, but the joblessness worsened since the coronavirus pandemic struck last year when the country had not yet fully recovered from a 2016 recession.
Buhari has faced criticism over rising violence in nearly every region of the nation. Armed gunmen have kidnapped more than 700 students in the northwest since December, Islamist attacks in the northeast have worsened and there have been nationwide attacks that have burned down police stations and killed officers.
Parliament in April called on the presidency, armed forces and police to address the security crisis and some urged Buhari to declare a state of emergency.
Buhari said the government would take a tougher approach toward insecurity, particularly against bandits in the northwest and separatists in the southeast.
“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless,” he said. “And you watch it, in a few weeks time, there will be a difference.”
Attacks, particularly in the north, have targeted farmers, worsening food inflation, which stood at 22.72% in April. Buhari said if farmers could not operate safely, hunger would spread and the government could lose control.
The president also reiterated his directive to security agencies, in Lagos on Thursday, to shoot any person or persons found illegally wielding AK-47s and other assault weapons, remains in place.
The President also vowed that his administration will act firmly and decisively ‘‘against any and all persons fomenting or carrying out attacks on our Police Force and other security personnel.’’
The President spoke at the handing over of security equipment by the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to the Lagos State Police Command during his one-day official visit to the State.
President Buhari warned that ‘‘a nation that turns its Police personnel and infrastructure into targets of violence and destruction is a nation on the path of self-destruction.’’
‘‘As Commander-in-chief, my primary responsibility remains the security of the country and the safety of all citizens. Despite the many challenges we are facing, I want Nigerians to rest assured that we will secure this country.
‘‘We will secure our infrastructure, our highways, our communities, and our forests, and we will secure the lives of our people,’’ he said.