Impacts of the Boko Haram insurgency on the Nigerian state


1.1       Background of the Study

The word terrorism can be seen to mean the use of violence or the threat of it to achieve a particular objective or objectives as the case may be by a group of people (Wikipedia) such objectives could be political, religious or ideological. Adeyemo (2009) opined that terrorism could be likened to genocide and defines it as the use of violence for political ends and includes any use of violence for putting the public or any section of the public in fear or panic. Arvind (2013) asserts that terrorism could be motivated by inner drives for revenge or financial gains. It could also be a fundamentalism to deprivation and resentment against the existing regime or intervention into personal freedom, oppression and inequality, as well as weak government. Terrorism as an act of violence does not bring any good thing to the society. Rather, it leads to the destruction of lives and properties and worst of all tears the society apart. This is the situation that the Nigerian state has found itself today. The act of terrorism by the Boko Haram Islamic sect has exposed the nation to continuous loss of lives and properties, and even local and foreign investors.

Boko Haram is an Islamic group in Nigeria that is seeking to transform Nigeria (especially the north-east) into an Islamic nation. According to Gimba and Mele (2007), this Islamic fundamentalist sect is seeking to transform the Nigerian state into an Islamic nation by infusing and enforcing strict and draconian Sharia laws upon the north-eastern states. This initially started with the spread of Islamist ideologies before the sect took to arms and violence. The name Boko Haram means “western education is a crime or sin”. According to Murtada (2013), the real name of Boko Haram was Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lid Da’awati Wal-Jihad (meaning congregation of the people of tradition for proselytism and jihad). The group as it is at the moment is believed to have emerged in the 2000s as a small Sunni Islamic group (an Islamic group that primarily contrasts Shia-Islam on who the first caliph of Prophet Mohammed was) advocating for strict interpretation and implementation of sharia laws. The sect’s leadership is believed to have initially used peaceful means to drive their quest home (Blanchard, 2014). This approach was however to change later as the sect now sees violence as the only means of driving their quest home. According to Salisu et al (2015, 225)

After the 2009 uprising, the activities of the sect were slow. The violent re-emergence of the group in 2010 came up with a new tactic that includes bombing, kidnapping, attacking Islamic clerics, mosques and churches in the country. Nigeria witnessed the first suicide bombing in police headquarters and the United Nation’s building in Abuja. The activities of the sect escalated when on 14th April 2014 the sect kidnapped 250 students from Government Girl’s Gollege in Chibok in Borno state. Also, Boko Haram and Ansaru were designated as foreign terrorist organizations (FTO) by the United States Security Department in 2013. Ansaru was the Boko Haram faction that earlier in 2013 kidnapped and executed 7 foreigners who were working with international construction companies. Subsequently, the UN committee on Al-Qaede sanction blacklisted the group on 22ndMay,2014 as one of the world’s terrorist organizations. The UN listing entry describes Boko haram as an affiliate of the Al-Qaede and also as one of the organizations of Al-qaede in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)

Since the Boko Haram Islamic sect started using the instruments of violence to achieve its aims and objectives, Nigerians, especially those living in the north east now life every day of their lives in fear. The activities of the sect have now turned Nigeria into a state where citizens’ sleep with one eye opened (Tundun 2012). The activities of the sect in Nigeria have caused the death of many Nigerians and non- Nigerians alike, as well as the destruction of inestimable properties. This has to a very large extent hampered the developmental efforts of the government and Nigerians alike, as well as compounding the economic problems of the country (Murtada, 2013). Nigeria therefore must rid the society of this sect if it is to achieve sustainable economic development. This is because no development can take place in a society where peace and security are absent. This research work therefore aims to examine the impact of the activities of the Boko Haram Islamic sect on the economy of the Nigerian state.

1.2       Statement of Research Problem

The Nigerian state has since its independence in 1960 continued to experience one unrest after another. The first major challenge to the sovereignty of the Nigerian state was the civil war that was fought between 1967 and 1970. Millions of lives and inestimable properties were lost in the quest to prevent Biafra from seceding from Nigeria. This was then followed by various ethnic, religious and regional clashes that also led to the loss of lives and properties. The emergence of the Niger Delta militants initially seemed like a challenge that would tear the country apart because of the violent approaches that were adopted by the group. Haven been able to solve the problem of militancy in the Niger Delta to a reasonable extent, the Nigerian government is now faced with a bigger challenge-terrorism, as mounted by the Boko Haram Islamic sect (Blanchard, 2014). The sect, unlike the Niger Delta militants is very difficult to deal with most times one finds it difficult to understand what the sect is actually fighting for. More so, no member of the sect has come out to tell the government what their demands actually are (Tundun 2012).

The Boko Haram Islamic sect has introduced a new dimension of problem that was before now unknown into the Nigerian state. Adebayo (2009) asserts that the activities of the sect have led to the various acts of killings, bombings and kidnapping, etc in the country. Therefore, the continued act of terrorism in the country more than ever needs to be checked. If not checked, terrorism will create a sort of investor’s apathy in the country and result in low inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country and would make both local and multinational investors to look for more stable economies to invest their money. On the state of the country, when people are insecure, the level of their investment and productivity is likely to drop to a very low level. Hence, terrorism is a threat to the economic, social and political security of the Nigerian state and major cause of under development (Awake, 2008). This is because it discourages both local and foreign investments, reduces the quality of life, destroys human and social capital, damages the tie between the citizens and the government and paints a bad image of the country in the international environment.

1.3       Research Question

This research will attempt to answer the following questions:

  1. What are the impacts of the Boko Haram insurgency on the Nigerian state?
  2. Has the Boko Haram insurgency had any impacts on the Nigerian economy?
  3. What are the impacts of the Boko Haram insurgency on the Nigerian economy?
  4. Are there steps that can be put in place to check the effects of the activities of the sect on the economy of the Nigerian state?


1.4       Objectives of the Study

The following are the objectives of this study:

  1. General Objective: To examine the impact of terrorism on the Nigerian state.
  2. Specific Objective: To assess the impact of the Boko Haram insurgency on the Nigerian economy.

1.5       Significance Of The Study

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 on the Nigerian state and its impacts on the economic development of the state 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.
    • Scope and Limitation Of The Study

This study on terrorism and its impact on the Nigerian state will cover the activities of the Boko Haram sect in the north eastern states and its overall impact on the Nigerian economy.

Limitation of the Study

The main limitation of this study hinge on the fact that the researcher cannot be able to get first-hand information from current or former members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect in the north Eastern states for proximity sake as well as the high risk involved in embarking on such quest. This research work is also limited by the fact that most the data available on the activities of the sect are contradictory, especially with regards to the attacks carried out by the sect, the number of people killed and injured and the work or value of properties destroyed. Another limitation of this study is:

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 collections (which will be based on content analysis)
1.7       Methodology

This study is will adopt content analysis as the methodology for the collection and analysis of data in this research work. The research work will focus on analysis of data from such sources as newspapers, magazines, online publications, etc.


Adeyemo, A.A (2009), “Social Factors Affecting Effective Crime Control and Prevention in Nigeria”, International Journal of Applied Sociology.

Arvind, .S (2013), “Impact of terrorism on Social, Economic and Legal Structure of Countries”, Global Learning Group, Education Center Inc.

Awake (2008) “When Terrorism will End”,  Jos Studies.

Blanchard, L.P (2011), “Hearing Boko Haram Emerging Threat to the US Homeland”, Congressional Hearing, Washington, Congressional Research Studies.

Gimba, .Z and Mele .A (2007), “Islam and the Mainstream of Modernity”, Kaduna; Second Perspective Publication.

Liolio, S.E (2012), “Rethinking Counterinsurgency: A Case Study of Boko Haram in Nigeria”,  European Peace University Stadsclaining, Austria.

Murtada, .A (2013), “Boko Haram in Nigeria, its Beginning, Principles and Activities in Nigeria”,SalafiManhaj. Haram.pdf

Salisu .S, Sella M.A and shehu A.Y (2015), “The Impact of Boko Haram on National Security” National Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences (Vol5).

Tundun, .A (2012), “ Boko Haram: the Beginning of Genocide”, Tell Magazine.


This Project is is available for the below list of Nigerian State capitals.
Abia Umuahia, Adamawa Yola, Akwa Ibom Uyo, Anambra Awka, Bauchi Bauchi, Bayelsa Yenagoa, Benue Makurdi, Borno Maiduguri, Cross River Calabar, Delta Asaba, Ebonyi Abakaliki, Edo Benin. Ekiti Ado Ekiti, Enugu Enugu, Gombe Gombe, Imo Owerri, Jigawa Dutse, Kaduna Kaduna, Kano Kano, Katsina Katsina, Kebbi Birnin Kebbi, Kogi Lokoja, Kwara Ilorin, Lagos Ikeja, Nasarawa Lafia, Niger Minna, Ogun Abeokuta, Ondo Akure, Osun Oshogbo, Oyo Ibadan, Plateau Jos, Rivers Port Harcourt, Sokoto Sokoto, Taraba Jalingo, Yobe Damaturu, Zamfara Gusau, FCT Abuja.



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