A new study released on Wednesday by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) revealed that as of 2021, the Nigerian economy was 2.5 percent smaller than it would have been without the conflict, equating to a cumulative loss of approximately $100bn over the last thirteen years.
It also revealed that over two million people currently remained displaced; while around one million children had missed school due to the armed conflict.
The study detailed the devastating economic impact of the ongoing conflict in Northeast Nigeria.
It also illustrated how violence and grave violations against children had led to a dire economic downturn, affecting not just the conflicted region but the country as a whole.
Speaking on the report, the UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Ms. Cristian Munduate stated, “The data collected brings a harrowing reality into sharp focus. This isn’t merely a localized issue; the economic and social repercussions of this conflict are felt nationwide and beyond. However, the greatest tragedy lies in the impact on our children – their disrupted education and the violation of their basic rights are losses that cannot be quantified.”
Highlighting the potential long term consequences of the ongoing conflict.
Munduate said, “Even if we anticipate a reduction in conflict effects over the next ten 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.”
She called for swift and unified action to end the conflict, adding that 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.”
“Each statistic in this 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.” Munduate added.