Family displaced by bandits
Family displaced by Boko Haram ( Afolabi Sotunde, Reuters)

Nigeria lost $40.6 billion to insecurity in 2020.
This is according to the Institute for Economics & Peace’s ‘Global Peace Index 2021: Measuring Peace in a Complex World, Sydney, June 2021,’ the economic impact of violence on the global economy amounted to $14.96 trillion in constant purchasing power parity (PPP) terms.

This is equivalent to 11.6 per cent of global GDP or $1,942 per person.

In 2020, the economic impact of violence increased for the second year in a row, rising by 0.2 per cent or $32.5 billion from the previous year. Government spending on the military and internal security comprised almost three-quarters of the global economic impact of violence said the GPI.

With Nigeria named one of the least peaceful countries globally, ranked 146 out of 163, the report put the economic impact of violence at $40.6 billion. On the log of ‘Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict domain,’ the document also named the country one of the least peaceful places on earth.

In terms of ‘Societal Safety and Security domain,’ Nigeria was among 26 least peaceful nations, and in the ‘Militarisation domain,’ it was considered one of 46 least peaceful nations.

The economic impact deteriorated in five regions in 2020, most notably sub-Saharan Africa, the 2021 GPI said.

According to it, the deterioration in sub-Saharan Africa can be attributed to the rising homicide rate, which subsequently led to an eight per cent increase in the region’s overall economic impact.

Nigeria is battling multifaceted insecurity challenges, ranging from Boko Haram in the North East, Bandits in the North West, herders in carrying out attacks across the country, to gunmen in the Southeast and South South, among others.

According to the report, “Nigeria recorded the largest increase in its economic impact, which increased by $40.6 billion in 2020 compared to 2019.”

The report said the economic impact of violence includes indicators such as military expenditure, conflict deaths, and homicides. It also consists of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spending on refugees and IDPs, losses from conflict, suicide, and internal security expenditure.

“The direct costs associated with violence include the immediate consequences on the victims, perpetrators, and public systems including health, judicial and public safety. The indirect cost of violence refers to longer-term costs such as lost productivity, resulting from the physical and psychological effects and the impact of violence on the perception of safety and security in society.

“The multiplier effect represents the economic benefits that would be generated by the diversion of expenditure away from sunk costs, such as incarceration spending, into more productive alternatives that would better improve the economy,” the report stated.