Resource wars, economic slide worsen Nigeria misery

Oil theft

Oil theft

EMEKA OKONKWO
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – ESCALATING resource-based conflicts and a receding economy are exacerbating the woes of Nigeria, the continent’s most populous nation battling a deadly campaign waged by the Boko Haram terror group.
The Islamic militant sect has killed over 20 000 and displaced some 2 million Nigerians in the northeast but the military has made some significant strides against the militants.
However, as the Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWSNET) has pointed out, resource based farmer/pastoralist conflict in central states, cattle rustling activities in the northwest, and insecurity in the Niger Delta in the south also persist.
The clashes over land in central states has claimed lives of hundreds while in the Niger Delta, militants are carrying out attacks on oil facilities. Armed livestock rustlers also present a danger to cattle rearers.
“These resource based conflicts have led to restricted access to pastoral incomes, fishing activities, and other income-earning opportunities,” the United States of America’s leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity stated.
FEWSNET said additionally, deprecation in the national currency, the Naira, continued to maintain high staple food prices across the country. Apparently, most farmers could not plough because of insecurity.
The recession of the Naira is attributed largely to the declining prices of oil in the global markets.
Nigeria is the continent’s biggest producer of crude oil. The sector is a major generator of government revenues.
FEWSNET meanwhile noted household returns continued in northeast Nigeria as some areas become more accessible after liberation from the Boko Haram.
Although localized improvements in the security situation are permitting these returns, many households are returning to their local government headquarters with insufficient means to maintain livelihoods. “At the same time, large areas of the northeast, in Borno State in particular, remain inaccessible,” FEWSNET added.
Nigeria is Africa’s biggest country by population, estimated at over 186 million.
– CAJ News

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