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Boris Johnson: Bandits terrorising parts of Nigeria can — and must — be defeated

Boris Johnson: Bandits terrorising parts of Nigeria can — and must — be defeated
March 28
09:40 2023

Boris Johnson, former prime minister of the United Kingdom, says an improvement in Nigeria’s security will attract economic growth and foreign investments. 

Speaking at the 16th Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe lecture series on Monday, the former UK prime minister said a lack of prioritisation of human capital has stunted the growth of the country.

The lecture, themed ‘Rehumanising Human Experience: A Synopsis of Anyiam-Osigwe’s treatises’, focused on confronting domestic and global issues with an aim to proffering solutions.

Johnson said the job of the government is to create a viable environment for its citizens, adding that no one would thrive in a place where they feel unsafe.


The former PM said the bandits operating in parts of the country must be defeated.

“The UK has a population of about 66 million, Nigeria has maybe 200 million and growing, how many of our people are able to reach their full potential and how many of them are like flowers that nobody ever sees? How many talents are there like jewels lost in the blackness of a cave undersea? I’ll tell you how many there are, its a hell of a lot. Millions. Tens of millions,” Johnson said.

“And the job of politicians is to create the conditions in which those people can unleash their potential because not only is that morally right, its surely right if, by human development, they gave everyone the chance to express their God-given talents, but it’s also the right thing – and this is the most important – for the economy.


“Because what we’re seeing everywhere, I think in both our countries, is a colossal loss of waste of human potential. And in both our countries we see people migrating from the country side to the cities because that is where the jobs are. And that is why London is the most productive city in Europe and why Lagos is doubling the whole time.

“Let me try to outline from the point of view of the former mayor of London what I think are the crucial conditions for talents to bloom and for cities to thrive. The first and most important is that it’s got to be safe, you have to have equality under the law because that is the foundation for freedom.

“I know some of the problems faced in some parts of this country, I know the lives that are sadly being lost but I can tell you those bandits can, must and will be defeated. And I want you to know that the UK stands ever ready to help.”



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