The every Monday protest sit-at-home started by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the Southeast costs the region about N10 billion loss every time it happens, says a report by the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP).
The IEP report (January 2021 — June 2022) was unveiled in Abuja at the presentation of the research – “Nigeria Security Analysis Report” – put together by the policy think-tank, Nextier SPD.
The Nextier Violent Conflict Database is aimed at providing detailed insights into violent conflicts in Nigeria for research, policy advocacy, development, and security.
The database tracked violent conflicts such as banditry, terrorism, extra-judicial killings, farmer/herder incidents, armed robbery, cultism, piracy, secession agitation, and communal clashes.
According to the report: “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 N10bn.
“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 per cent and 30 per cent of businesses in Aba and Onitsha. These commercial centres are also export routes 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 South-East counterparts do not attend school on Mondays to avoid the wrath of overzealous members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).”
The report also disclosed that violence affected eight per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) leading to the country’s loss of about ₦50trn within 18 months.
Further reporting the impact of insecurity in other parts of the country, the report said: “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 in rural areas.
“Also, cities are not left out. Research shows that rural-urban migration may contribute to social and economic problems, including urban insecurity.
“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.
“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.