A Primary Product Economy with Weak States that are not able to Lead Growth
Differences in commodities advantage either through agricultural or mineral resources determine the success or failure of States in Nigeria. A few States with industrial and commercial advantages such as Lagos and Ogun also reap economic benefits given their unique positioning. However, economic opportunities and potential for growth are more pronounced in just four regions out of the six regions of Nigeria with the North East being the least advantaged given the activities of terrorists which has been raging for almost a decade now in that part of the Country.
While the Buhari government scores relatively high in the area of security and attempts to reintegrate the North East into Nigeria’s economic architecture, the reality is that tensions originating from states/regions excluded from economic growth and employment opportunities will continue threaten the sustenance of growth in states/regions that currently enjoy economic advantages. It is therefore necessary for the government to look at national security architecture beyond military presence in troubled regions, as the root cause of tensions and political instability are more linked to Nigeria’s current combined unemployment and underemployment statistics which is put at 45%, and the non engagement of the youth segment of the population in gainful economic activities. A clear-headed policy in this direction will be necessary to ensure sociopolitical stability and sustainable economic growth.