To what extent has government corruption in Nigeria impeded efforts to effectively deal with Boko Haram?

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To what extent has government corruption in Nigeria impeded efforts to effectively deal with Boko Haram?

To what extent has government corruption in Nigeria impeded efforts to effectively deal with Boko Haram?

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In 2019, the conflict in northeastern Nigeria entered its eleventh year. Since 2009, the Boko Haram insurgency and the government’s military response have killed tens of thousands of civilians and displaced millions across the Lake Chad region, which straddles Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria. Although major military campaigns in 2015–2016 succeeded in degrading the group’s territorial control, Boko Haram has proven remarkably adaptable in its tactics: the end of 2018 once again saw an uptick in attacks in Nigeria’s Borno State. As Muhammadu Buhari assumes his second term as president, the conflict in the northeast appears far from resolved.

Since the early years of the crisis, Nigeria’s international partners have cautioned that Boko Haram is unlikely to be defeated on the battlefield alone. They have stressed the need for a multidimensional response that tackles the drivers of insecurity in the region, including chronic weaknesses in service delivery, corrupt governance, and environmental degradation.

However, the perception of limited leverage over Nigerian counterparts, restricted access to the country’s northeast, and a response to the crisis shaped by the U.S.-led Global War on Terror limited donors’ focus on these governance dimensions on the ground. In practice, international assistance came late and donors struggled to identify viable national counterparts for stabilization programs. As a result, their efforts centered on supporting regional military efforts and responding to the large-scale humanitarian crisis.

Since early 2017, military gains and improved security in parts of northeastern Nigeria have spurred a greater focus on conflict stabilization measures.

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