The impact and effects of the activities of the various terrorist groups such as called Boko Haram and MEND in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. Their various activities have paralyzed almost every sectors of the Nigerian economy. Terrorism has impeded peace ‘and progressive development in Nigeria.
It hinders political development, it affects rapid economic growth and it distorts socio-cultural equilibrium and thus worsens the environmental situation of the country. Many scholars across the universe have examined the consequences of terrorism according to their respective observations and backgrounds but for the purpose of this particular research work, it is pertinent to make a comprehensive evaluation. Aspect of Nigeria such as political, economic, social, agriculture, educational and environmental aspects shall be given examined elaborately.
It is an unquestionable fact that a country that is going through crisis almost on an annual basis could not be said to be politically stable. The Boko Haram crisis, which dichotomized Nigeria’s Police Forces, was said to have been responsible for the bombing of the Abuja Police Headquarter resulting to the death of about six (6) people including Police Officers and civilians, in essence Boko Haram crisis brings about unstable government which is very crucial to sustainable political development.
The implication of the terrorist activities such as the activities of the group Boko Haram on political development is that the Igbo’s was sidelined in the political scene, since gaining independence in 1960, no Igbo man has become President of Nigeria and this created a gargantuan vacuum between the Igbo’s and the northerners in the political system, the northerners now wants to monopolize power because they belief that the west is a corrupting influence in governance.
The Boko Haram insurgency also affected President Jonathan’s transformational agenda. During the post election campaign of Ex President Goodluck Jonathan, he made a promise to transform and give Nigeria a new and clear sense of focus if elected as the President of Nigeria. He said he has a transformational agendum for the country.
In order to achieve this particular goal, on his inauguration as Nigeria’s President, he named his administration as a transformational administration. While revealing his transformational agenda, he highlighted specific areas that will receive transformational attention.
These areas include infrastructural development, quality healthcare system, agriculture, education, job creation, electricity and transportation, etc. He assured Nigerians of his administration’s readiness to transform the country. And after he was inaugurated, the transformation agenda journey commenced; a violent or terrorist group in the Northeast that was not interested in the transformation policies came up and decided to be a log in the wheel of the journey.
With the clear and visible intention of diverting attention from the transformational agenda of the President, the terrorist group started truncating the advancement of the transformation agenda by unleashing and causing instability in the country. This terrorist group continued their terrorist acts under the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to truncate the change agenda of the President.
This to an extreme length worked very well for this violent group. They successfully diverted the attention of not just the President but also of other people on the transformational journey. Instead of giving full attention of the transformational agenda, the Federal Government under the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan spent more time seeking how to deal with the menace of Boko Haram.
Also, this trend continued under the present administration of President Buhari, because of the sensitive, dangerous, and very deadly nature of Boko Haram activities, attention is now focused on them. Boko Haram has seriously threatened the adequate, efficient and effective implementation of the transformational agenda and the change agenda of the present administration.
Here, a question needed to be asked ‘Can incentives to attack businesses increase the activities of Terrorist’. It could be seen that terrorists are rational actors because achieving their stated goals and objectives as efficiently as possible is their main priority. The specific goals of a terrorist group may appear bizarre and difficult to appreciate by outside observers, but nevertheless, terrorists will work hard or strive to reach these goals as efficiently as they can. They strive to achieve a maximum effect through the chosen actions.
Empirical research has categorically established that terrorists indeed go for those kinds of high level actions from which they expect the highest benefit–cost ratio. If, for instance, the police make some kind of terrorist act more difficult to accomplish, terrorists quickly shift to a different attack mode. Terrorists know to be rational actors, it is necessary to consider the benefit–cost relationships of various strategies from the point of view of the terrorists.
In recent years, it could have been evidently seen that terrorism has taken various new patterns, increasingly moving from military targets to civilian targets which includes individuals and business activities. Recent terrorist attacks in Nigeria affected both the national and the global economy. The economic consequences of such high level attacks can be largely broken down into short term direct effects; medium-term confidence effects and longer term productivity effects.
The direct economic costs of terrorism, including the destruction of lives and properties, responses to the emergency, restoration of the systems and the infrastructure affected, and the provision of temporary living assistance, are most evident in the immediate aftermath of the attacks and thus matter more in the short run. Direct economic costs are likely to be equivalent to the intensity of the attacks and the size and the characteristics of the economy affected.
Major violent attacks in Bornu, Kaduna, Kano, Bauchi and Abuja by Boko Haram group has caused major activity disruption especially the Abuja bomb that happened in April, 2014 and the abducted over Two Hundred female secondary school in Bornu State although, the direct economic damage was relatively small in relation to the size of the economy. Furthermore, the cost of terror attack and insecurity in Nigeria has slow down its infrastructure development.
Nigeria’s federal government plans to spend a considerable 20% of its 2012 budget on security – equivalent to the share the US spent on security following the 11 September terrorist attacks, in 2001. In 2013, it was increased to 27.11 but in 2014, N845 billion (S5.29billion) was provided for recurrent and service vote for security in Nigeria. As the economic impact of violent attacks includes long-term indirect costs (security) and direct costs, the cost to Nigeria is at least the security cost of NGN1trn, or 2% of GDP, on Renaissance estimates.
The impact of the terrorist attacks on financial markets was relatively small in renaissance’s view; however, it increased when oil facilities began to be attacked. Analysts pointed out that the government’s huge security spend has an opportunity cost – it results in less spending on power infrastructure, education and healthcare, which combined have been allocated a smaller budget than security in 2012 to 2016.
The indirect costs of terrorism have the potential to have an effect on the economy in the medium term by demoralizing consumer and investor confidence. The activities of terror attack can reduce the incentive to spend as opposed to save, this may bring about the reduction in the investment in an economy and this will have an enormous effect on the economy development of the entire world through normal business cycle and trade channels. Falling investor confidence may spark a generalized drop in asset prices and a flight to quality that increases the borrowing costs for riskier borrowers.
As a result of the Niger Delta militant’s activities in the region, economically, as at January 2006, Nigeria lost 211,000 barrels of crude oil daily which equals 8.4% of Nigeria export of 2.6m (punch Jan18, 2006). Shell Nigeria shut in 455,000bpd by March 2006 due to militant attack17 (New Age, March 28, 2006). By April, of the same year, it got to 650,000bpd (New Age April 28th)18. New Age calculated that facilities producing about 25% of the nation’s crude oil remained under lock and key in Niger Delta region. The effect of this on budget implementation is not farfetched. As to sales, earnings from crude oil export fell by 702m US dollars in February 2006 from the previous month19. As at June 2006, export has been reduced by 20%. National power generation had reduced by more than 25% as a result of shutting off of gas to 3 major power stations20. As of September 2016, as a result of the vandalization of the oil pipe line by the MEND group in the Niger Delta region, Nigeria produces a mere 1.1 million barrels of crude oil daily as against the 2.2 million expected which translate to Nigeria producing at only 50%.