ACCOUNTING FOR PEACE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA, THE NORTH EAST CASE
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The term peace is relative and the conditions for peace dier from one society or nation to another. However Ibeanue (2005) asserted that peace is a process involving activities that are linked to increasing development and reducing conflict. It is described as justice and development, respect and tolerance between people, wholeness and making whole, and the absence of war. Despite its relative nature, peace has a common denominator, i.e. the harmonious or friendly pursuit of individual and collective interest defined by rules of conduct or standard of behaviour. Thus, in this context, peace is described as a condition in which people live in agreement with accepted standards of conduct or rules of behaviour that promote public good and the happiness of every one. The exploitation and production of oil in the Niger-Delta have created some of the largest fortunes for the multinational companies and have helped to achieve impressive economic growth and development of the Nigeria state, but little or no attention has been directed by both the multinational companies and the Nigeria governments to the effects of such oil activities on the welfare of oil producing communities (Ikein, 1990).
Oil has not as expected brought prosperity, better living conditions and governmental attention and development; rather it has become a curse and impoverishes the inhabitants of the Niger-Delta region. However a fight for their rights against the multinational companies and the Federal Government has resulted in large-scale violence, crisis, social tension, hostage taking, man slaughter, kidnapping and other social vices of the region. The aftermath of these vices, is the high degree of insecurity in the region, which has led to the withdrawal of major oil producing companies from the region. The low level of oil production as a result of insecurity of lives and property in the region has a strong negative impact on the Nigerian economy (Ikelegbe, 2008). In their effort to bring the situation under control, the multinational companies, governments and other stakeholders have been clamouring for peace in the Niger-Delta region to boost economic development.
1.2 PROBLEM OF THE STUDY
Various strategies are being devised by the multinational companies and the government for the enthronement of pace in the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria. Multinational companies are spending so much money to hire security agents to protect their facilities and personnel from militant attacks. The government on the other hand is spending huge amount of money to maintain peace-keeping forces in the region. In 2009, the Federal Government of Nigeria under the administration of President Umaru Musa Yar, Adua, granted amnesty to militants and these former militants are currently on the payroll of the government thereby reducing government current revenue. Akeem and Erhun (2010) posited that the recurrent expenditure of the Federal Government increases on a basis at an average of 12.69 due to security measures taken by governments to ensuring peace in the Niger-Delta region. It is upon this premise that this paper tends to investigate the impact of cost of peace-keeping in North-East region and the economic development of Nigeria.