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CONFLICT AND DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA
1.1 Background of the study
The need for peace accounting arose in order to estimate the cost of peace enthronement. It is the systematic according and ascertainment of the cost of peace keeping .When the impact is measured on the economic development of the nation, it is believed that it will enhance government ability to act proactionly in developing international and national policies for peacefulness. A considerable volume of literature has already attributed part of the economic failure of the developing countries to the prevalence of conflict in these regions. Enough evidence has been shown by previous studies to convince one that the prevalence of conflict in developing countries could explain a greater part of its current economic situation because meaningful economic development cannot take place without peace . , stated that the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, including Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Liberia and so many others are a volatile mix of insecurity, instability, corrupt political institutions and poverty. However, it was observed that so far, it is the corrupt political institutions and particularly political corruption that causes or worsens poverty (the lack of basic needs) that leads to instability in Africa. Conflicts in most African nations are caused by the combination of poverty and weak states and institutions, and these have had a devastating impact on Africa’s development. Contributing on the devastating effect of conflict on most African countries, , discloses that the costs of conflicts in Africa in terms of loss of human life and property, and the destruction of social infrastructure are enormous. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in many of the countries in which the conflicts occur. Many others have also suffered and continue to suffer untold psychological trauma associated with conflicts. Once conflict occurs, scarce resources are inevitably diverted to the purchase of military equipment at the expense of socio-economic development. Using the conflict perspective, , examined the recovery from civil war but also considered the processes by which the economy is damaged during conflict; his study concluded that conflict is a devastating phenomenon likely to have large effects on both the level and composition of economic activity. He further noted that during conflicts, GDP per capita declines at an annual rate of 2.2% relative to its counterfactual. Considering that Africa had 51% of minor conflicts, 38% of intermediate conflict and 53% of war out of all global conflicts and wars during the period 1989 to 2000, there is sufficient reason to believe that the presence of conflict explains a greater part of its economic situation. Over the last 40 years nearly 20 African countries (or about 40% of Africa south of the Sahara) have experienced at least one period of conflict . Some conflicts, like violence in Darfur, have been of high intensity, however, it was observed that there are countless smaller conflicts, such as those between herders and cultivators that are to be found in many parts of Africa like the recurring conflict in Jos, Plateau state of Nigeria where fulani herders keep attacking villagers; this type of intermediate conflicts are no less vicious. Violence from these intermediate conflicts also causes as many deaths in Africa as do diseases. The degree of human loss resulting from localised conflicts is devastating, since many are even sent to a ‘state of limbo’. Millions of lives have been lost as a result of ‘localised’ conflict in Nigeria; for instance, at least 10,000 people lost their lives between 1999 and 2003, and an estimated 800,000 were internally displaced. More people have been forced to flee their homes in Africa than anywhere else in the world; many ending up in the slums of already overcrowded cities and towns. Malnutrition and disease has been on the increase; those who suffer most are the poor and the vulnerable. War and conflicts does not only harm people, it also destroys infrastructure such as roads, bridges, farming equipments, telecommunications, as well as water and sanitation systems. The argument in some quarters is that the means by which conflicts are sustained implies more harm to the economy . In the past, possible sources of conflict finance have been foreign governments, natural resources and donations from a Diaspora population. In order to finance their operations, rebels can also use kidnappings-for-ransom, extortion, and (less frequently) robberies like the Niger delta scenario in Nigeria, the Libya case and most recent south sudan case. However, much stronger evidence emerges from the analysis of natural resources as a source of finance. There is strong case study evidence that countries with a high share of natural resources in their exports are more likely to experience a war because resources such as diamonds, timber and crude oil can be looted and used to finance the war, noted that cross country regressions provide strong evidence to support causal link between natural resources and the risk of conflict. There is also a wealth of evidence from case studies on the importance of Diasporas in the financing of conflicts. It is evident that spill over effects of conflict can be physical; bombs have been known to cause destructions beyond the borders in which they are used. These might destroy valuable physical capitals like schools, and so forth in neighbouring states or countries. A nearby civil war may lead to collateral damage from battles close to the border which destroy infrastructure and capital. Further, the displacement of people within border regions is also not uncommon in states or countries that share borders with conflict-ridden countries. , showed that conflict can lead to under-exploitation of renewable natural resources and over-exploitation of resources with negative future externalities. This might exert pressure on urban population as the attraction is normally towards the bigger cities. However, a global statistical analysis of the onset of civil wars suggests that Africa has experienced more civil wars mainly because the economic circumstances, low income, low growth and high dependence on natural resources, have made wars inevitable.
1.2 Statement of the problem
It is no doubt that peace frees up resources for productive activities which would have otherwise been diverted to controlling or creating violence. On the other hand, violence and conflict could have much negative impact on many aspects of life such as education, personal safety and health, commerce and trade, personal productivity, human wellbeing, economic development and growth and subjective happiness. With the number of violence experienced so far in Nigeria and new ones developing such as the boko haram insurgency which has crippled economic, academic and other activities in the northern region of the country, one wonders if business leaders, religious leaders and government are not aware of the extent of business opportunities forgone by continuous violence both nationally and internationally. Hence, the need to examine the interface between economic development and the cost of conflict in Nigeria is not out of place. However, this present study aims at examining the impact of cost of conflict on economic development in the Nigerian. In addition, this study examined the following objectives; the extent to which the nation’s economic policies and implementations upheld drivers of peace as the cost of investing in proactive peace creation is minimal compared to the lost potentials caused by violence, whether the nation’s peacefulness enhances the size of its retail sector, stock market, the impact of conflict on the economic development of Nigeria, the contribution of social values on conflict management and the impact of societal structures on conflict management in Nigeria.
1.3 Definition of terms
Conflict: A serious disagreement or argument, typically a protracted one.
Conflict resolution: Conflict resolution involves the reduction, elimination, or termination of all forms and types of conflict
Economic development: Economic development, the process whereby simple, low-income national economies are transformed into modern industrial economies
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