President Goodluck Jonathan said on Thursday that Africa is losing an estimated $18 billion per year to wars and insurgencies.
The President spoke in the welcome address he delivered at the international summit organized as part of Nigeriaâ€™s centenary celebrations with the theme â€œHuman Security, Peace and Development: Agenda for the 21st Century,â€.
Also for the second time in less than 24 hours, he spoke of the determination of his administration to bring to justice all extremists who have been responsible for the death of hundreds of people in North east Nigeria.
â€œBut as I address you today, I have a heavy heart. Two days ago, terrorists invaded a secondary school and murdered innocent children in Yobe State, while they slept. The children, the hopes of their parents and the future leaders of our dear nation, had their hopes and dreams snuffed out, leaving behind grieving families, schoolmates, communities and a sad nation.
â€œThis gruesome and mindless act of savagery is not Nigerian. It is not African. Let me assure all Nigerians that we will spare no resource in bringing those murderers to justice.
The President also said that Africa must address some fundamental challenges to the continentâ€™s human security, peace and development, especially, terrorism which he said is now growing in the continent.
President Jonathan linked some of the security challenges being faced by the continent to wide availability of small arms and light weapons.
He added that that the menace of the use of small arms and light weapons is on the rise on the continent.
Out of the 500 million illegal small arms and light weapons in the world, an estimated 100 million are in Africa, with 10 per cent in West Africa, noted Jonathan.
â€œIn concert with our regional and global partners, we will continue to respond strategically and decisively to this scourge, and together with our people we shall end the killings and bring terrorism to an end. Your Excellencies, let us work together across boundaries, not only to coordinate and strengthen our defences, but also to address any socio-economic roots on which these extreme ideologies thrive.â€