Amid lingering insecurity challenges, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, has stated that the present administration is determined to increase the quantum of both local and foreign direct investments into the country.

Stakeholders equally raised concerns about the unabating security challenges despite increased budgetary allocation in tackling the problem.

Mustapha added that the Buhari-led administration is also focused on improving the level of production and decreasing the cost of funds of doing business to improve the ease of doing business in the nation.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation represented by the permanent secretary, political and economic affairs, Andrew Adejoh, stated this at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (LCCI) 2022 security meets business dialogue series in Lagos.

He added: “Our focus as a government is to ensure a safer society for foreign and local investors. The Federal Government remains committed to ensuring that the environment is conducive for businesses to thrive as the present administration is not only ensuring a safe environment for businesses, but for the citizenry.

“The Federal Government remains determined now more than ever before to increase the quantum of investment in the economy, to improve production of the economy, decrease cost of funds and improve ease of doing business,” he said.

He explained that the federal government is highly disturbed by the escalating insecurity challenges, saying that quite a number of Nigerians have turned insecurity into a business venture.

He assured that the Federal Government is working tirelessly to address the situation, pointing out the present administration has always demonstrated support for any initiatives that complement the federal government’s effort in combating insecurity.

“Money alone will not solve the problem, we need to look at the processes, mechanisms and procedures to make sure that the money is put to judicious use,” he said.

Earlier, the president, LCCI, Asiwaju Olawale-Cole, said in the 2022 Federal Government budget, the defence and security sector was allocated N2.29 trillion (13.4 percent of the total budget) for the military, police, intelligence, and para-military for both recurrent and capital expenditure, saying in 2021, defence alone was allocated N840.56 billion, far more than any other sector.

“These votes of resources to defence operations show the commitment of the government to making Nigeria a safer and more peaceful nation,” he added.

He pointed out that according to the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP), the 2021 Global Peace Index (GPI), Nigeria ranked 146 among 163 countries.

He stated the institute has confirmed that improvements in peace can lead to considerable economic improvement in GDP growth, inflation, and employment.

The LCCI boss stated that the average economic cost of violence was three times higher for the countries with the largest deteriorations in the GPI, equal to 22.1 per cent of their GDP, compared to 6.7 per cent for the countries with the largest improvements.

He added: “We, therefore, have a stake in the security, peacefulness, and social cohesion of our nation, Nigeria. Without security, the business community cannot thrive. This is the point of confluence where security meets business. And that is the reason for this conference today.”

He recommended that for the federal government to achieve better results in confronting insecurity, a key factor is to tackle the root causes and stem degeneration into social disorder and instability, stressing that the high level of unemployment and poverty among Nigerians, especially the youths, has consistently attracted them to crimes.

He noted that failure to address challenges of poverty, unemployment, and business failures is one of the major factors fueling insecurity in the country.