War Economy in North East Nigeria

14th January 2020
Author: William Avis

This rapid literature review collates academic and grey literature pertaining to the war economy in North-East Nigeria. The conflict with Boko Haram provides an opportunity to interrogate long-standing theoretical assumptions about the economic consequences of violent conflict in complex spaces such as Nigeria’s north-east. Key findings from the literature review include: Boko Haram has financed its activities and secured income through the imposition of mandatory payments and collection of tribute from producers; opportunities for enrichment are evident within various sectors, this includes through activities such as skimming from soldiers’ salaries and taking kickbacks on military procurement; perceptions of motivations for joining Boko Haram are also linked to financial rewards; there is an economic dimension of Boko Haram terrorism; historically funding sources, before the group morphed into a violent insurgent organisation in 2009, were derived from membership dues as well as foreign donations and despite the conflict, the north-east has been identified as one of the fastest-growing markets in Nigeria.

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Suggested Citation

Avis, W. (2020). War Economy in North East Nigeria. K4D Helpdesk Report 734. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.


14th January 2020


Continent: Africa

Country: Nigeria