Terrorism and its effect to the socioeconomic development in nigeria. A case study of boko haram in maiduguri and borno state

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Terrorism and insurgency is globally becoming a household word as there is no nation that is completely absolved from its effect. This is the reason why Rourke (2008) observes that war, terrorism and other forms of transnational political violence are in many ways more threatening today than ever before as civilian casualty has been on increase. It is however difficult to evolve a single definition for the term “terrorism”. The difficulty emanates from the lack of consensus or unified perspective among nations or scholars as to what could be regarded as terrorist act. Hence, terrorism has been described variously as both a tactic and strategy; a crime and a holy duty; a justified reaction to oppression and inexcusable abomination since it is a function of whose point of view is being represented.

Indeed, the worldwide manifestation of terrorism and insurgency has been evident in Africa, but also in Nigeria. With particular reference to Nigeria, the phenomenon has found expression in the emergence of Boko Haram insurgency (2001-date). Since its advent, the sectarian insurgency has wrecked immense havoc in the country, especially by “using explosives and firearms with gruesome, fatal” consequences (Awake, 2006).

The alarming level of terrorists attacks in different parts of the country, leaving unpalatable consequences for the nation’s economy and its growth. To address the threat to national security and combat the increasing waves of crime the federal government of Nigeria in the 2013 budget made a huge allocation to security, and the national assembly passed the Anti-Terrorism Act in 2011(Ewetan, 2013). Despite these efforts, the level of terrorism and insecurity in the country is still high, and a confirmation of this is the low ranking of Nigeria in the Global Peace Index (GPI, 2012). Despite the plethora of security measures taken to address the daunting challenges of terrorism and insecurity in Nigeria, government efforts have not produced the desired positive result. This has compelled the Nigerian government in recent time to request for foreign assistance from countries such as USA, Israel, and EU countries to combat the rising waves of terrorism and insecurity. Amidst the deteriorating security situation in the country, Nigeria is also confronted with daunting developmental challenges which pose serious threat to socio-economic development. These developmental challenges include endemic rural and urban poverty, high rate of unemployment, debilitating youth unemployment, low industrial output, unstable and deteriorating exchange rate, high inflation rate, inadequate physical and social infrastructure, very large domestic debt, and rising stock of external debt (Ewetan, 2013)

Some scholars in conceptualizing security placed emphasis on the absence of threats to peace, stability, national cohesion, political and socio-economic objectives of a country (Igbuzor, 2011; Oche, 2001; Nwanegbo and Odigbo, 2013). Thus there is a general consensus in the contemporary literature that security is vital for national cohesion, peace and sustainable development. It is therefore apparent that national security is a desideratum, sine qua non for economic growth and development of any country (Oladeji and Folorunso, 2007). The areas affected by the Boko Haram insurgency have been devoid of virtually all economic activities. In the intelligence community there is a consensus that security is not the absence of threats or security issues, but the existence of a robust mechanism to respond proactively to the challenges posed by these threats with expediency, expertise, and in real time.

Political, economic and social insecurity of a country encompasses all development goals and issues being the root of the issue and the solution. Addressing issues of terrorism is crucial in order to execute successful development projects. As a goal, it believed that every country should aspire to reach a point of security by protecting its citizens from structural violence, crime, and social insecurity. Indeed, without the safety of citizens, all plans for development, whether economic, political or social, will fail. Terrorism is a phenomenon that is bedevilling Borno State and it affects policies and development. Any nation striving towards development must reduce the frequency of crime to the barest minimum.


The emergence of Boko Haram insurgency has introduced a terrorist dimension, hitherto unknown, into the criminal space in Nigeria. Series of bombings have been carried out by the sect, as well as taking hostage of innocent citizens. Even the United Nations Building in Abuja was not spared in the bombing spree. In rich as well as poor countries, terrorism exerts a heavy toll on national economies. It is inevitable that the economic impact of terrorism would be more felt in unsophisticated mono-cultural low-income economies than they would be felt in highly advanced, diversified industrial economies. Therefore, the continued rise in terrorism activities in the country, if not checked, may result in greater investor apathy for the country and resulting in low inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and would make institutional investors look for other stable economies to invest their money. On the state of the country, when people feel insecure, their appetite to invest, to buy or rent from the product of investment reduces; and that is why all over the world, any country that radiates an environment of insecurity naturally repels investment initiatives from both the international community and its own local investors. Hence, terrorism is a threat to the economic, political and social security of a nation and a major factor associated with underdevelopment; because it discourages both local and foreign investments, reduces the quality of life, destroys human and social capital, damages relationship between citizens and the states, thus undermining democracy, rule of law and the ability of the country to promote development (Adebayo, 2013). However, the researcher is analyzing terrorism and its effect to the socioeconomic development of Nigeria.


The following are the objectives of this study:

1.  To examine the effect of terrorism on the socioeconomic development of Nigeria.

2.  To examine the level of terrorism activities in Maiduguiri and Borno State.

3.  To identify the factors limiting the socioeconomic development of Nigeria.


1.  What is the effect of terrorism on the socioeconomic development of Nigeria?

2.  What is the level of terrorism activities in Maiduguiri and Borno State?

3.  What are the factors limiting the socioeconomic development of Nigeria?


HO: There is no significant relationship between terrorism and socioeconomic development

HA: There is significant relationship between terrorism and socioeconomic development


The following are the significance of this study:

1.  The findings from this study will educate the government and the general public on the extent of damage done by the activities of the Boko Haram sect in Maiduiguri and Borno state and its effect of the socioeconomic development with a view of resolving the crisis.

2.  This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic


This study on terrorism and its effect on the socioeconomic development of Nigeria will cover the activities of the Boko Haram sect in Maiduiguri and Borno state and its effect of the socioeconomic development.


Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.


Adebayo, A. A. (2013). Social Factors Affecting Effective Crime Prevention and Control in Nigeria. International Journal of Applied Sociology, 3(4); 71-75.

Awake (2008). “When terrorism will end”. June edition, pp1-6. Barga, T. (2012) “Towards a theology of peace: A panacea to terrorism and violence”. Jos Studies, Vol. 20, pp. 1-24.

Igbuzor, S. L. (2011). Borno State Ban Motorcycle and Commercial  Bikes. The Vanguard, July, 6.

Oche, P. H. (2001). Political violence and Terrorism Motifs and Motivations. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Nwanegbo, I. and Odigbo, G. (2013). The President signs the Anti – Terrorism Bill and 13 other Harmored Bill into Law. The Vanguard, April 6.

Rourke, I. G. (2008). Boko Haram Leader Killed. Daily Trust, July, 31

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