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Nigeria has lost $100b to North-East conflict – UNICEF

THE United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says Nigeria has lost $100bn to the decade-long conflict in the country’s North-East region.

In a report released by the child rights agency, it said Nigeria lost the money between 2008 and 2021.

“The direct effects of conflict, in terms of death and injury, loss of livelihoods, displacement, and damage to infrastructure, are transformed into long-term economic impacts. This is because these impacts reduce the rate of economic growth for the country affected by conflict relative to what it might have been, had conflict not occurred,” the UN agency said in the study published Wednesday.

“This study provides a quantitative estimate of the economic cost that arises from violence and grave violations. The study found that, for the duration of the conflict, cumulative losses (i.e., the losses that build up each year that the economy is damaged) were around US$100 billion. The monetary measures are an indicator of the lost development opportunities suffered as a result of the conflict.”

While noting the impacts of conflicts, it said the North-East crisis has implications beyond Nigeria’s shores.

“The impacts of conflict are not confined to the regions that experience these most acutely. Nigeria as a whole, is worse off as a result of the conflict,” the report added.

“Given Nigeria’s economic size relative to the rest of the region, slower growth in the country may have broader regional spillover effects. That is, regional growth is likely to be lower than in a counterfactual case in which Nigeria was free of conflict.”

While commenting on the development, UNICEF’s Representative in Nigeria Cristian Munduate, said even if the conflict’s effect reduces in the coming years, its impacts on the economy would still be “profound”.

“Even if we anticipate a reduction in conflict effects over the next ten years, the Nigerian economy still faces profound cumulative losses,” she said.

“The ‘scarring’ effect of this drawn-out conflict may inhibit the economy from achieving its full potential, putting the nation’s future prosperity in jeopardy.”

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