World Bank attributes Northeast economic decline to terrorism
The World Bank has attributed 50 per cent decline in economic activities to Boko Haram terrorism and kidnappings in the Northeast.
The 12-year insurgency has also killed about 40,000 people with property worth $9.2 billion (N3.42 trillion) destroyed in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states.
An Economist and Co-Author of a W’Bank Report; Marco Hernandez; disclosed that economic activities in the BAY states, however; declined from 10 to 14 percent between 2009 and 2013.
According to him, economic activities in the Lake Chad region further declined to 50% since 2018.
“In northern Nigeria, we see that 50 per cent or more of crop yields have been affected as a result of conflict,” he said, stating that there is a huge cost that could very well turn into a benefit because that takes into account other factors.
He added that issues related to climate change were also responsible for the further decline in activities in the agricultural and livestock sectors of the economy.
Continuing; “When you look at the effects of Boko Haram alone, you now isolate it from all the different things that are going on in the region.
“What we have seen is that there are two messages to highlight on the one hand, that economic activity has fallen,” he said, attributing it to the large reduction in economic activities in the agricultural and livestock sectors in the last decade.
On how insurgency affects border countries, he said: “Boko Haram is not just on those places where insurgency happens.
“It also affects neighbouring countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroon; where the actual attacks happen as well.”
He said that for the region to grow, the bank should enhance trade, improve infrastructure to move people goods and services.
According to him, the W’Bank’s intervention could also improve governance and the management of natural resources.
He noted that security is the underlying precondition for developing the Lake Chad region.
The Economist suggested that the bank should focus on four key areas that are essential to help break that cycle of poverty and unemployment.
He said that the key areas comprise trade facilitation, infrastructural facilities with supply of labour for the twin economic sectors in the region.
Responding, the Country Director for the bank in Nigeria, Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri advised Nigeria to urgently tackle insecurity to enhance growth especially in the Northeast.
“An institution like the World Bank, you know we are for development and for that, we need peace and security to proceed with development,” he said.