AN ASSESSMENT OF THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPLICATION OF THE BOKO-HARAM INSURGENCY IN NIGERIA
The impact of the activities of the dreaded Boko Haram has brought physical, psychological and economic damage to Nigeria and has become a threat to the entire nation. It is against this background that the study examined the impact of Boko Haram insurgency on the economy of the affected states in Nigeria. The study was a literature based research and therefore descriptive in structure. Basically secondary data that was used in this research include relevant text books, magazines, archival materials, published and unpublished works, journals, newspapers and internet materials all of which the researcher thoroughly explored for critical examination and analytical insight. The data collected was analysed using a framework of content analysis and simple percentage. Findings from the study indicates that the atrocities of Boko Haram have severe implications on the economy and social lives of the people of the northeast where the activities of the sect is concentrated. The study recommends that anybody that has links with the sect should face the law and government should develop a strong political will to fight the scourge.
1.0 Background of the Study
Terrorism and insurgency is globally becoming a household word as there is no nation that is completely absolved from its effect. This is the reason why Rourke (2008) observes that war, terrorism and other forms of transnational political violence are in many ways more threatening today than ever before as civilian casualty has been on increase. It is however difficult to evolve a single definition for the term “terrorism”. The difficulty emanates from the lack of consensus or unified perspective among nations or scholars as to what could be regarded as terrorist act (Oche, 2001).
Hence, terrorism has been described variously as both a tactic and strategy; a crime and a holy duty; a justified reaction to oppression and inexcusable abomination since it is a function of whose point of view is being represented (Awake, 2008). Indeed, the worldwide manifestation of terrorism and insurgency has been evident in Africa, but also in Nigeria. With particular reference to Nigeria, the phenomenon has found expression in the emergence of Boko Haram insurgency (2001-date). Since its advent, the sectarian insurgency has wrecked immense havoc in the country, especially by “using explosives and firearms with gruesome, fatal” consequences (Awake, 2008).The alarming level of terrorists attacks in different parts of the country, leaving unpalatable consequences for the nation’s economy and its growth. To address the threat to national security and combat the increasing waves of crime, the Nigerian government since 2013 has budgeted a huge amount of money on security, and the National Assembly passed the Anti-Terrorism Act in 2011(Ewetan, 2013). Despite these efforts, the level of terrorism and insecurity in the country is still high, and a confirmation of this is the low ranking of Nigeria in the Global Peace Index (GPI, 2012).
In spite of the plethora of security measures taken to address the daunting challenges of terrorism and insecurity in Nigeria, government efforts have not completely produced the desired positive result. This has compelled the Nigerian government in recent time to request for foreign assistance from countries such as USA, Israel, and EU countries to combat the rising waves of terrorism and insecurity (Adebayo, 2013). Amidst the deteriorating security situation in the country, Nigeria is also confronted with daunting developmental challenges which pose serious threat to socio-economic development. These developmental challenges include endemic rural and urban poverty, high rate of unemployment, debilitating youth unemployment, low industrial output, unstable and deteriorating exchange rate, high inflation rate, inadequate physical and social infrastructure, very large domestic debt, and rising stock of external debt (Ewetan, 2013).
Some scholars in conceptualizing security placed emphasis on the absence of threats to peace, stability, national cohesion, political and socio-economic objectives of a country (Igbuzor, 2011; Oche, 2001; Nwanegbo and Odigbo, 2013). Thus, there is a general consensus in the contemporary literature that security is vital for national cohesion, peace and sustainable development. It is therefore apparent that national security is a desideratum, sine qua non for economic growth and development of any country (Oladeji and Folorunso, 2007).
In reviewing the concept of Nigeria’s economy, we will be able to establish a relationship between Terrorism and Nigeria’s economy. Economy is regarded as the wealth and resources of a country or region especially in terms of population and consumption of goods and services (Anyenwa and Oaikhenar, 2000). It is an entire network of producers, distributors, and consumers of goods and services in a local, regional or national community e.g. Nigeria’s economy. Meanwhile the Nigerian economy especially in the Northern part of the country has been under serious attack due to the activities of the insurgents. Farmers who predominantly engage in subsistence farming in the Northern part of the country (Borno, Yobe, and Bauchi) no longer feel safe to go about their farming activities and by implication this has led to the increased rate of food starvation in that part of the country.
1.1 Statement of the Problem
The emergence of Boko Haram insurgency has introduced a terrorist dimension, hitherto unknown, into the criminal space in Nigeria. Series of bombings have been carried out by the sect, as well as taking hostage of innocent citizens. Even the United Nations Building in Abuja was not spared in the bombing spree. In rich as well as poor countries, terrorism exerts a heavy toll on national economies. It is inevitable that the economic impact of terrorism would be more felt in unsophisticated mono-cultural low-income economies than they would be felt in highly advanced, diversified industrial economies. Therefore, the continued rise in terrorism activities in the country, if not checked, may result in greater investor apathy for the country and resulting in low inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and would make institutional investors look for other stable economies to invest their money. On the state of the country, when people feel insecure, their appetite to invest, to buy or rent from the product of investment reduces; and that is why all over the world, any country that radiates an environment of insecurity naturally repels investment initiatives from both the international community and its own local investors. Hence, terrorism is a threat to the economic, political and social security of a nation and a major factor associated with underdevelopment; because it discourages both local and foreign investments, reduces the quality of life, destroys human and social capital, damages relationship between citizens and the states, thus undermining democracy, rule of law and the ability of the country to promote development (Adebayo, 2013). It was on this note that this study seeks to examine the impact of Boko Haram insurgency on the economy of the affected states in Nigeria.
1.2 Objective of the Study
The general objective of this study is to examine terrorism and Nigerian economy; an assessment of the Boko Haram insurgence. While the specific objective is outlined as follows:
i. To assess the correlation between terrorism and economy
ii. To assess ways the Boko Haram crisis poses a threat to Nigeria’s economy
iii. To assess the implications of Boko Haram crisis on Nigerian economy
1.3 Research Question
In this light, the study will be guided by the following research question.
i. What is the correlation between terrorism and economy?
ii. In what ways do Boko Haram constitutes challenges to the Nigerian economy?
iii. What are the impacts of Boko Haram insurgency on Nigeria economy?
In accordance with the research question deduced from the research study, I assume this:
i. There is correlation between terrorism and economy
ii. If there is high level of Boko Haram crisis, it is likely to pose a threat to Nigeria’s economy.
iii. If the Boko Haram crisis deepens, it is likely to have an implication on Nigeria’s economy.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The significance of this study is that it will act as a guide to the government in their quest to improve the economy in the affected region and enhances knowledge on the impact and types of threat it constituted judging from the fact that terrorism is currently a prevailing cankerworm and it is very spontaneous and typical. This study will help proffer solutions and theoretically will be useful to writers, scholars, journalists etc, in order to add to their existing knowledge what they already know about terrorism and Nigeria’s economy, particularly with regards to the Boko Haram terrorist activities.
1.6 Research Methodology
The method of data collection used in this study is the secondary source which is also known as documentation. Due to the spontaneous nature of the issue under investigation, information is being gathered from magazines, journals, newspapers, internet materials and textbooks which are relevant to the study. The framework of the content analysis is what I adopted due to the fact that it will aid me in giving better appreciable acknowledgement to the study and make us knowledgeably acquainted to the subject under analysis. In similar vein, data collected will be analysed descriptively using tables and simple percentage in some cases.
1.7 Scope and Limitations of the Study
This study on terrorism and Nigeria’s economy, an assessment of the Boko Haram insurgency will cover the activities of the Boko Haram sect in Maiduguri, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe and Yobe states.
Limitations of the Study
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, newspapers, magazines, journals etc.). More so, there is scarcity of relevant materials on the issue (Terrorism and Nigeria’s economy, an assessment of the Boko haram insurgency) due to its evolving and spontaneous nature.
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work. However despite these constraint, the researcher was able to overcome these challenges and made sure that the work was completed successfully.
1.8 Definition of Terms
This entails stating the meaning of various concepts used earlier, so as to give a better understanding of the meaning and also give a vivid picture of these concepts in the minds of the readers. According to Janct (2004:107), definition of terms used in a research is operation. Works are defined as they are used by the researcher. This means that researcher uses certain words in the way they fit to the study, which may be different from the ordinary dictionary meaning. For an operational understanding of the term used within this study, the definitions are as follows:
Terrorism: This is an illegitimate means of attempting to effect political change by the indiscriminate use of violence. Also it is the use of violence to achieve political objectives.
Boko Haram: The term Boko Haram is a derivation of Hausa world ―Boko meaning ―Animist western or otherwise non-Islamic education, while Haram is a word with Arabic origin that figuratively means ―sin but literally, forbidden‘. In order words, Boko Harm means ―western education is forbidden or is a sin (Wkipedia, Boko Haram, 29/10/2016:1) Boko Haram is very controversial Nigeria militant Islamic group that seeks for the imposition of sharia law in the entire northern states of Nigeria. The name officially of the group is jama‘atu Alis-sunna Lidda‘awth wal jihad, which in Arabic translated to people committed to the propagation of the teaching of prophet and jihad literally therefore, thegroup means ―Association of sunnis for the propagation of Islam and for Holy war.
Insurgence: This is defined as a political battle waged among a cooperative or acquiescence populace in order for a group of outsiders to take over (or at least undermine) the government of a nation.
Menace: Menace means a possible danger, a threat, or an act of threatening. It also means something that threatens to cause evil, harm, injury etc. This also means the show of an intention to inflict evil, an indication of a probable evil or catastrophe to come.
Economy: This refers to the wealth and resources of a country, especially in terms of production and consumption of goods and service. It is also the state of a country or region in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services and the supply of money.
Security: Security can be defined to mean ― the total sum of action and measures, including legislative and operational procedures, adopted to ensure peace, stability and the general wellbeing of a nation and its citizens (Shinikaiye, 2004:2).
Sect: Sect can be seen as a body of persons distinguished by pecularities of faith and practice form other bodies adhering to the same general system. Specially, the adherents collectively of a particular creed or confession, a domination or older form of faith or believe (Britanic world language dictionary).
Peace: Peace is generally defined as the absence of war, conflict, anxiety, suffering and violence and absolute peaceful co-existence. However, peace connotes more than a mere absence of war hostilities because an absence of conflict is inevitable. Therefore, peace could be defined as a political condition that ensure justice and social stability through formal or informal institutions, practices and norms (Howard, 1987).
Domestic Terrorism: Domestic Terrorism is the commission of terrorist attacks in a state by forces inside or originating from the state, as opposed to terrorist attacks by forces external to the state. In other words, domestic terrorism is a terrorist act practice in one‘s own country against her own people (online dictionary).
Violence: Violence is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the international use of physical force of power, threatened or actual against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injuries, death psychological harm, mal development or deprivation. (Wikipedia, WHO).
1.9 Outline of Chapters
The study shall be divided into five chapters. The first chapter discusses the background to the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, assumption, and significance of the study, organisation of various chapters, method of data collection, scope and limitations of the study and definition of various terms.
The second chapter shall consist of literature review; exhaustively discuss terrorism causes and its implication in the economy as well as the theoretical framework of the study, trends and patterns of terrorism in Nigeria, meaning of Boko Haram, the funding membership and ideology of the Boko Haram sect, and the religious and ethnic base of the Boko Haram sect.
Chapter three would focus on the Historical Background of Boko Haram and its evolving dimension which focused on the evolution of Boko Haram, and its terrorist’s campaign. It also discuss the background of the Boko Haram sect and its terrorist activities as well. Chapter four focuses on data presentation and analysis, and chapter five focuses on the summary of each chapters, conclusion and recommendations.
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