Dr. Vincent Gisaor, an economist at the Federal University in Wukari, has unveiled alarming statistics regarding the devastating toll of insecurity in Benue State. He disclosed that a staggering 28,997 lives have been lost due to insecurity in the region.
In a symposium by the Benue State government titled ‘The Socio-Economic Development of Benue State: The Journey Ahead,’ Dr. Gisaor presented these distressing findings. His analysis drew from various sources, including the Benue State Emergency Management Agency, the Nigeria Police Force, and the Benue State Committee on Conflict Resolution and Peace Building.
According to his research, beyond the tragic loss of nearly 29,000 lives, the state has also destroyed over 54,476 houses and farm produce valued at more than N21 billion.
Dr. Gisaor emphasized the profound impact of insecurity on Benue State’s rural economy. He pointed out that this crisis has destroyed five police stations and 33 markets, further exacerbating poverty and impoverishment among the people of Benue.
He noted, “Over 28,997 individuals have been reported dead in recent insecurity incidents, with some deaths unreported or ongoing.”
The destruction of vital infrastructure, including police stations and markets, has disrupted law and order, and economic activities related to production, distribution, and exchange, leading to increased poverty among the people of Benue.
Dr. Gisaor remarked, “The devastation of lives, homes, crops, farms, domestic trees, seeds, and seedlings has made it challenging for affected individuals to resume their livelihoods. Consequently, farming and other economic activities have collapsed, resulting in rising rural unemployment, famine, and starvation.”
Farm produce losses alone have been estimated at over N21 billion, and the destruction extends to 54,476 houses, excluding thatched dwellings.
Dr. Gisaor expressed grave concerns about the severe impact of insecurity on the state’s economic growth and development. He underscored the urgent need for direct intervention to restore progress in Benue State.