*Claims govt wasted N8trn on security
Emameh Gabriel in Abuja
The Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP), Wednesday disclosed in its 2021-2022 report (January 2021 to June 2022) that violence affected eight per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, leading to the country’s loss of about ₦50 trillion within 18 months.
The report, which followed a research on violence and its attendant effects on the country’s economy, also disclosed that Nigerian government spent at least ₦8 trillion on security without achieving the desired results.
The report also stated that the increase of violence left state governors apparently overwhelmed as they were restricted by the constitution from taking certain measures in combating insecurity in the respective states.
According to IEP, “Nigeria lost about ₦50.38 trillion to growing violence in 2021.The Nigerian government has spent at least ₦8 trillion on security provisions without achieving the desired results.
“Many governors have stated in different fora, that they are not the chief security officers in their states”.
Report was based on analyses carried out on violent activities across the country, including secession agitations in the south, bandits attacks on vulnerable villages in Northwest and North central Nigeria, include village raids, sexual violence, ransom kidnapping, killings, and large-scale livestock which has affected the livelihoods of about 21 million people in Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, and Zamfara states
IEP stated that for instance, “banditry in the Northwest and North central regions transitioned from raids on vulnerable communities to large-scale ransom kidnapping of school students and brazen attacks on targets, including military installations. Sometimes, bandits send Ietters of impending attacks and extort levies from terrified communities”.
The report said a key feature of contemporary armed conflicts is that civilians have become combatants and primary victims, nothing that Nigeria, villages, streets, and schools have become battlefields, which eventually resulted to self-help and group-level armed defence systems responsible for increased
secure violent hotspots.
“From the North to the South,
activities of armed men have led to bloody shootouts, protracting crises, and complicated security situations. In many rural communities in Nigeria, violent conflicts limit access to farmlands and disrupt livelihood sources. Due to this challenge, food insecurity across Nigeria looms as rural areas where
“Also, cities are not left out. Research shows that rural-urban migration may contribute to social and economic problems, including urban insecurity.”
It pointed out that despite the decrease in terror-related deaths, Nigeria recorded the ninth highest number of persons killed by terrorist incidents worldwide in 2022 due to recurrent crisis in 2022, including banditry, terrorism, cultism, extrajudicial killings, farmer-herder struggle and secession.
It said in the wake of these violences and despite security responses, banditry incidents and fatalities have continued aided by security personnel.
“Bandits are rampaging vulnerable villages in Northwest and North central Nigeria. Tracked activities by bandits include village raids, sexual violence, ransom kidnapping, killings, and large-scale livestock rustling,” said the report, citing the recurrent violence affects the livelihoods of about 21 million people in Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, and Zamfara states
“The secessionist agitations in Nigeria raise serious concerns and have continuously thrown the nation into a state of instability and disintegration. At the very least, a significant amount of resources and lives have been lost during these agitations.
“Escalating violence in the South East is hampering economic progress and social order. According to a report, every time there is a sit-at-home, the Southeast geopolitical zone loses about N10 billion Naira.
“‘Cities like Onitsha, Aba, and Nnewi are core manufacturing and commercial hubs that are negatively impacted by the insecurity in the region. Manufacturing accounts for
31% and 30% of businesses in Aba and Onitsha. These commercial centres are also export kkroutes to Central and West African nations.
“Violence is a drawback to education in the region. While pupils, students, and teachers in various parts of the country attend school, their southeast lcounterparts do not attend school on Mondays to avoid the wrath of overzealous members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
“Additionally, insecurity has displaced many farming communities and hindered
cultivation. This situation has deterred agricultural supply and increased the cost of agricultural goods. Nationally, the cost of essentials like beans and tomatoes has increased by 253 per cent and 123 per cent, respectively, since July 2020. A measure of beans (known as Mudu) cost 73 cents (N305.48) in July 2020, but by July 2021, it was going for $2.16. (N900). Other goods, including bread, onions, and cassava flour, have increased exponentially.”