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Insecurity: World Bank gives prospects on economic development of Northeast

The World Bank has said the activities of Boko Haram insurgents have caused a major decline in the economic development of North-eastern Nigeria.

World Bank disclosed this at the launch of the Lake Chad regional economic memorandum, Lead Economist, said Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states which are in the Lake Chad region saw economic activities decline from 10 to 14 per cent between 2009 and 2013, adding that the region has recorded 50 per cent decline in activities from 2018.

Speaking at the launch, World Bank representative and co-author of the report, Mr Marco Hernandez said: “In northern Nigeria, we see that 50 per cent or more of crop yields have been affected as a result of conflict, there is a huge cost that could very well turn into a benefit because that takes into account other factors that have been going on at the time, including, for instance, issues related to climate.

“When you look at the effects of Boko Haram alone, once again, you now isolate it from all the different things that are going on in the region, what we have seen is that there are two messages to highlight on the one hand, that economic activity has fallen and the large reduction in economic activity has become even more apparent with time.

“It used to be 10 to 14 per cent of reduced economic activity when Boko Haram was just starting, but now closer to 2018 and so it has been closer to 50 per cent of economic activity.”

Hernandez also said, “Boko Haram is not just on those places where insurgency happens, it also affects neighbouring parts for where the actual attack happens as well.”

The bank also profers suggestions on how the region can strive and grow, the bank called for enhanced trade, improved infrastructure to move people, goods and services, improved governance and management of natural resources.

He added: “Now when we take into account that security as an underlying precondition for developing the Lake Chad region, we focus on four key areas that we believe are essential to help break that cycle.

“The first one is trade facilitation; the ability to move goods and services from one place to another, connected infrastructure especially to make it easier for those goods and services to move in and including labour as well.

“The third area is governance and the importance that it has across all the different development challenges that Lake Chad region faces. And the fourth one is about natural resource management.”

On his part, the Country Director for Nigeria, World Bank, Mr Shubham Chaudhuri advised Nigeria to urgently tackle insecurity to enhance growth, especially in the northeast.

He said: “I think especially for an institution like the World Bank, you know we are for development and for that, we need peace and security to proceed with development”.


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