Nigeria is confronted with a myriad of dilemmas. Drastically reduced oil prices and inflation of dollar rates have pummelled a country that depends on oil exports for two-thirds of its national revenues. Also, the Boko Haram insurgency continues to wreak havoc particularly in the north-eastern part of the country, where suicide bombings have killed hundreds; and corruption remains a drain on the country. According to the latest report released by Transparency International, Nigeria is now ranked 146 out of 180 countries. This is two steps lower from 144th it ranked in 2018.
It may at first sound ridiculous to suggest that the world could learn how to better promote community safety from Nigeria and Africa at large, which has its fair share of security problems. But who is better placed to teach than someone who has lived through an experience?
In Africa, state capacity has always been inadequate. The continent has also lived through some of the world’s most devastating conflicts and has, by and large, survived.
In my own observations and opinion, I believe Nigeria is one of the most important countries in the world, but appears to be little in policy considerations. Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy, and security risks stemming in the country can have a snowball of effects. Nigeria should factor more centrally in the use of technology and conversations about international security, economic development, and humanitarian issues.
Nigeria’s problems can be linked to three interrelated concepts; first is the struggle against Boko Haram, which is more intricate than a pure terror group. Secondly is the question of reforms, which includes security apparatus such as the army and police, and then of course the entire government parastatals. Third is the state of the economy, since Nigerian livelihoods need to be improved if there is any hope to handle the first two situations.
But with a dynamic and changing International Security environment it is hard to predict the future particularly with new and emerging challenges. However, extrapolations can be made by looking at some of the drivers and trends shaping global security. High use of technology, globalisation and the inter-relation between economic and security trends, terrorism, state fragility, and geopolitical uncertainty are all factors that have been identified as driving forces shaping the future of the global security environment.
The question remains, how do we start solving Nigeria’s problem? Through Technology!
This is the only way out as most of the problems we are facing in Nigeria would be abated drastically in a not too distant future if we make proper use of technologies that are currently changing both economic and political landscapes. Let’s take a look at Countries like the United States, India and China they are practical examples of how technologies and Internet of Things (IoT) are changing things for the betterment of their countries. We can make proper use of these Technologies to eradicate Boko Haram war and other ethnic crises that have been taking the lives of our people.
Over the years, there have been lots of predictions, such as robots taking the jobs of humans in the future, although this could be a gloomy part of technology. Excitingly, the brain behind what has happened in China and other well reserved economic countries is that there is future in technology and the earlier developing nations like Nigeria start harnessing it, the better it becomes.We have recorded series of success in the telecommunication industry; it has been tested and proven that technology would be the panacea to solving Nigeria’s major problems. No doubt, we have some significant level of technological improvement in Nigeria, but expansion and further exploration is of the core essence.
Sadly, there has been much dependence on our major source of revenue (i.e. crude oil), although declining due to several factors. At the moment, it’s quite commendable to say Nigeria is rolling out plans to ease off the reliance on the oil revenue. There have been several attempts by previous and current administrations to chart other ways to increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country but the efforts are met with various challenges.
However, as an IT Engineer and Security Researcher active in the industry, I have seen a lot of transformations through which technology can change the economic and political landscape of Nigeria, just has witnessed in other foreign nations.
In conclusion, Nigeria needs to start implementing policies, extend science and technology to other regions, develop the tech ecosystem, and explore technology tools to further drive this cause. When we do these, most of the issues bedevilling the nation will get drastically minimised.
Ibenu is an IT Engineer and a Security Researcher. His research focuses on military and civil based application on the role of information security to combat cyber crime and terrorism. He is a sailor and a graduate student of Technology and Management at Yaba College of Technology.