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Nigeria: Recharging the Lake Chad: An Option for Rebuilding the Economy of North-East Nigeria - Weekly Policy, Vol.2 Issue 19 (June 10-16, 2019)

Source: Nextier SPD (Security, Peace, and Development) Country: Nigeria
Strengthening Community Resilience The North East zone is the poorest zone in Nigeria. Its average absolute poverty rate of 69.0% is above the national average of 60.9%. Access to education in the zone is particularly severe with over 44% of school age children out of school. This is higher than the national average of about 26%.The situation has become worse since 2009 when the activities of Boko Haram assumed a violent dimension that has claimed between 20,000 and 30,000 lives and displaced about 2.6 million people (Onuoha and Oyewole, 2018). As at April 2017, Boko Haram had destroyed properties worth over N1.9 billion (US$5.2 billion). This destruction includes over 1 million homes and 5,000 classrooms (Onuoha and Oyewole, op.cit). This destruction of major economic and social infrastructures in the zone, has resulted in significant disruption of daily lives in affected communities, and has prompted various interventions such as the North East Development Commission (NEDC) and Victim Support Fund aimed at dealing with the impact. As admirable and well-intentioned as these interventions, they are insufficient to ensure stability and prosperity in the affected communities. There is the need to strengthen resilience capacities of communities in the region. Policy Recommendations Stabilisation programmes are key to achieving community resilience.
Stabilisation gives local political and traditional structures, the capacity to provide security, justice and other services. There is the need to mitigate physical and psychological distresses of people living in communities that have been ravaged by Boko Haram. There is need to improve the mental outlook of people living in communities that have been impacted by Boko Haram. Platforms for effective communications are critical for building resilience in post-conflict communities. It is imperative to shed more light on the context-specific drivers of the violent activities of Boko Haram.


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