The Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP) recently revealed that violence in Nigeria has affected about eight percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), leading to a loss of about N50 trillion within 18 months. The report by IEP, which spanned from January 2021 to June 2022, was developed by research that was organized by Nextier SPD, at the presentation of “Nigeria Security Analysis Report” concerning the issue of violence and its subsequent effects on the economy of the country.
In recent years, Nextier has recorded a huge database which tracks violent conflicts such as banditry, extra-judicial killings, armed robbery, terrorism, piracy, communal clashes, farmer-herder incidents, cultism, and secession agitation in Nigeria. The database aims at revealing the nitty-gritty of violent conflicts in Nigeria for the purpose of research, policy advocacy, development, and security. The report also alleged that the Federal Government of Nigeria has spent about N8 trillion concerning security issues with undesirable results.
Civilians are combatants and main victims of insecurity.
The IEP report further disclosed that state governors, as a result of the restriction from taking certain measures regarding insecurity, placed on them by the constitution, are devastated by the situation of insecurity in their respective states. The report, however, are analysis gathered on violence activities in Nigeria. These violent activities are mostly prevalent in secession agitations in the south; bandit attacks on susceptible villages in Northwest and North central Nigeria; sexual violence, ransom kidnapping, cultism, and large-scale livestock which has hindered the livelihoods of over 21 million people in Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, and Zamfara states.
According to the report, a major feature of contemporary armed conflicts is the fact that civilians are combatants and primary victims. Civilians being the main target of violence has led to food insecurity as one of the subsequent effects of violent conflict in Nigeria. This emerged as a result of armed men, from the North to the South, leading to bloody shootouts, complicated security situations, protracting crises, and in rural areas, limitations of access to farmlands and disruptions of sources of livelihoods.
Every curfew in the Southeast breeds a loss of N10B.
The economic progress of the Southeast and social order is greatly negatively affected by escalating violence. A report says that every curfew that is declared in the Southeast leads to a loss of about N10 billion by the Southeast geopolitical zone. Cities that serve as major manufacturing and commercial hubs such as Onitsha, Aba, and Nnewi are hampered by the insecurity; the report reveals that manufacturing accounts for 31 percent and 30 percent of business in Aba and Onitsha.
Another challenge caused by violence is its effect on education across the country and mostly in the Southeast region. Unlike pupils and teachers in other parts of the country, students and teachers of the Southeast region are unable to attend schools on Mondays in order not to incur the anger of overzealous members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). These recurrent issues of violence in Nigeria, this year, has ranked it as the country with the ninth highest number of terrorist-related deaths across the world in 2022, despite the reduction in deaths caused by terrorists.
Insecurity has resulted in an increase in the cost of agricultural produce.
Unresolved insecurity in the country has caused the displacement of many farming communities and hindrance to cultivation. Resultantly, agricultural supply and continuous increase in the cost of agricultural produce has been deterred. Since July, the cost of essential food items like beans and tomatoes has accelerated by about 253 percent and 123 percent, respectively across the country, with a measure of beans that used to cost about N305, now being sold for N900. Asides this, insecurity has made other agricultural produce to increase rapidly.