In a recent report unveiled by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), it was disclosed that Nigeria has suffered a staggering economic loss of $100 billion over a span of 13 years due to the ongoing insurgency in the northeastern states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe.
The comprehensive report, released in Abuja, exposes the profound economic devastation inflicted by the persistent armed conflict in Northeast Nigeria.
According to the findings, as of 2021, the Nigerian economy had contracted by 2.5 percent, leaving it smaller than it would have been in the absence of this protracted conflict, resulting in a cumulative loss of approximately $100 billion over the past 13 years.
UNICEF’s Representative in Nigeria, Ms. Cristian Munduate, emphasized the grim reality revealed by the survey, underscoring how violence and grave violations against children have contributed to a dire economic downturn that affects not only the conflict-ridden region but the entire nation.
Munduate pointed out that the greatest tragedy lies in the impact on children, particularly the disruption of their education and the violation of their basic rights, which are losses that cannot be quantified.
She also highlighted the potential long-term consequences of the ongoing conflict, stating, “Even if we anticipate a reduction in conflict effects over the next 10 years, the Nigerian economy still faces profound cumulative losses.
” 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.”
In response to these dire findings, Munduate called for swift and unified action to bring an end to the conflict, emphasizing, “The time to act is now.
“The future of our children and our nation’s economic growth are at stake. We must prioritize peace and the protection of children’s rights to ensure a brighter future for Nigeria.”
She concluded with a compelling call to action, stating, “Each statistic in the report represents a child, a future, a hope. Beyond the staggering figures, there’s a compelling call to action. We cannot ignore it. The stakes are simply too high.”
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