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NATIONAL SECURITY CHALLENGES AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE NIGER DELTA REGION
ABSTRACT: Nigeria has on daily basis experienced an upsurge of activities that threatens and endangers its national security. In recent times, the Nigerian nation suddenly metamorphosed into an abode of insecurity. The Niger Delta region which is the centre of Nigeria’s oil wealth has been the scene of protest, conflict and violence. Despite its abundant oil wealth, there has been unimaginable level of poverty, unemployment, inequality, poor infrastructure, lack of social amenities and negligible development in the region. In view of this scenario, the paper basically analyses and ascertains the impact of national security challenges on sustainable development in Nigeria with a particular focus on the Niger Delta region and the responses by successive governments in tackling them. Findings from the paper reveal among others that, the security challenges in Nigeria have long historical antecedence and the crises and conflicts in the Niger Delta region are the consequences of several years of exploitation, neglect and deliberate abandonment of the region which is the economic base of the nation, by successive governments and oil multinationals. The paper therefore concludes and recommends amongst others, the formulation and effective implementation of policies capable of addressing the root causes of insecurity in Nigeria and that more efforts should be made by the federal government and oil companies to improve the quality of human lives in the region and the nation at large. Qualitative and descriptive methods of data analysis were adopted for this study. The paper used secondary data in which conclusion and recommendations where derived.
KEYWORDS: National Security, Security, Insecurity, Challenges, Nigeria, Niger Delta, Development, Sustainable Development.