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Country analysis

Nigeria


Insurgent attacks by Boko Haram and the Islamic State – West Africa Province in northeastern Nigeria, ‘banditry’ violence in the northwest, farmer/pastoralist conflict in the Middle Belt, and a growing Cameroonian refugee population in the south have contributed to a complex humanitarian crisis in the country. In southeast Nigeria, the Indigenous People of Biafra and their affiliate Eastern Security Network are pushing for secession from the rest of the country.

Ethno-religious differences have led to tension between geopolitical zones in northern and southern Nigeria. The high levels of ethnic and religious intolerance often explode into violence whenever there is a trigger, such as political incitement by leaders. Economic factors, such as unemployment, high inflation, and poverty, also drive insecurity countrywide, as some youth join criminal gangs and militant groups for economic survival.

Conflict in different parts of Nigeria has also led to internal and international displacement; disrupted livelihoods, such as farming; and contributed to food insecurity.

Climate change has resulted in land degradation and increased competition over scarce fertile land, contributing to farmer-pastoralist conflict. It has also amplified the intensity of natural disasters.

(The Africa Report 02/01/2023, Irene et al. 05/2022, CFR 09/06/2022, OCHA 09/02/2022, News Security Beat 15/11/2021)

Insurgent attacks by Boko Haram and the Islamic State – West Africa Province in northeastern Nigeria, ‘banditry’ violence in the northwest, farmer/pastoralist conflict in the Middle Belt, and a growing Cameroonian refugee population in the south have contributed to a complex humanitarian crisis in the country. In southeast Nigeria, the Indigenous People of Biafra and their affiliate Eastern Security Network are pushing for secession from the rest of the country.

Ethno-religious differences have led to tension between geopolitical zones in northern and southern Nigeria. The high levels of ethnic and religious intolerance often explode into violence whenever there is a trigger, such as political incitement by leaders. Economic factors, such as unemployment, high inflation, and poverty, also drive insecurity countrywide, as some youth join criminal gangs and militant groups for economic survival.

Conflict in different parts of Nigeria has also led to internal and international displacement; disrupted livelihoods, such as farming; and contributed to food insecurity.

Climate change has resulted in land degradation and increased competition over scarce fertile land, contributing to farmer-pastoralist conflict. It has also amplified the intensity of natural disasters.

(The Africa Report 02/01/2023, Irene et al. 05/2022, CFR 09/06/2022, OCHA 09/02/2022, News Security Beat 15/11/2021)

Latest updates on country situation

15 May 2024

In the northeastern states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe (commonly referred to as the BAY states), approximately 4.8 million people are expected to face severe hunger during the 2023 lean season (June–August) unless immediate interventions are implemented. This marks an 11.6% increase from the 4.3 million people projected to experience food insecurity during the same period in 2023. Prolonged conflict and dry spells have worsened the food and nutrition crisis in the BAY states. Recent nutrition surveillance data shows that 16 out of the 62 local government areas in these states are already experiencing critical nutrition situations even before the peak of the lean season. The worsening food security situation is driven by escalating inflation, insecurity (including insurgency, kidnapping, and banditry), and rising fuel prices, compounded by climate-related shocks nationwide. Heightened insecurity has forced farmers to abandon their farms, further deepening the crisis. (FSC 02/04/2024, UNCT Nigeria/OCHA 14/05/2024)

11 March 2024

On 7 March 2024, over 280 students were abducted from a school in Kuriga, Kaduna State, marking the third such incident in a week. On 9 March, 15 students were kidnapped in Gidan Bakuso village, Sokoto State, raising concerns in the North West. Rescue efforts are hindered by inaccessible roads. Over 200 individuals (predominantly women and children) were abducted in Borno State, allegedly by Boko Haram in early March. These distressing events highlight critical protection and education concerns, as the security gaps exploited by kidnappers jeopardise the safety of children and women and disrupt the educational environment. (The Guardian 10/03/2024, CNN 08/03/2024, APNews 09/03/2024)

13 February 2024

26.5 million people are projected to face food insecurity in 2024 in 26 assessed states of Nigeria (out of 36). The main drivers of food insecurity include the change in seasonal patterns affecting agriculture; conflict and insecurity; poverty; and increasing inflation affecting people's access to food. On 6 February, food inflation triggered protests in central Niger and northwest Kano states. As at December 2023, food inflation reached 33.93% – an increase from 23.75% in December 2022. Poor food consumption resulted in acute malnutrition among 4.41 million children, including 1.04 million severely malnourished in northeast and northwest Nigeria. Persistent food insecurity and poverty have also aggravated various protection concerns, compelling people to resort to negative coping mechanisms such as engaging in survival sex, begging, and child labour.
(OCHA 13/11/2023, IPC 17/10/2023, Government of Nigeria 06/02/2024)

06 December 2023

There has been a surge in diphtheria cases in Nigeria since July 2023. January–November recorded over 10,000 confirmed cases, including 558 deaths. Most of the cases involve children and adults who are not fully vaccinated. Security concerns and a global vaccine shortage are contributing to the decline in vaccination rates. As at November, 2.2 million children were in need of vaccination. (WHO 04/12/2023, MSF 27/11/2023, OCHA 20/11/2023)

17 October 2023

Since early October 2023, heavy rainfall has led to flooding along the Niger River and Benue River Basin following rising water levels in Lagdo Dam in neighbouring Cameroon. In Adamawa state, the floods have killed about 33 people, displaced over 50,000, and resulted in significant infrastructure damage. Immediate needs include food, shelter, NFIs, and WASH services. (CCCM Cluster 13/10/2023,
Daily Post 10/10/2023, FEWSNET 13/10/2023)

18 September 2023

A diphtheria outbreak declared on 20 January 2023 continues in several states of Nigeria. Between May 2022 and early September 2023, over 6,000 cases were confirmed. Between June–August, over 5,800 suspected cases were reported, 4,000 of which were recorded in August only. Many of these cases are from Kano state, where over 280 patients are being admitted weekly in treatment centres. Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Katsina, and Yobe states have also reported diphtheria cases. A worldwide shortage of treatment given low production capacity and low national vaccination coverage could further worsen the outbreak. As at September 2023, only about 70% of children had received their first vaccine dose. Diphtheria is transmitted through direct contact or air droplets and has a higher death rate in settings with poor access to treatment, particularly among children.
(MSF 19/09/2023, WHO 13/09/2023,
UNICEF 19/09/2023)

17 July 2023

On 14 July, a state of emergency was declared in Nigeria following high levels of food insecurity. Increased food prices caused by the removal of the fuel subsidy, protracted conflict, and limited humanitarian presence in North West and North Central Nigeria are driving high food needs during the lean season (June–September). (IRC 17/07/2023
VoA 14/07/2023
FEWS NET 11/07/2023)

current crises
in Nigeria


These crises have been identified through the INFORM Severity Index, a tool for measuring and comparing the severity of humanitarian crises globally.

Read more about the Index

NGA001 - Complex crisis

Last updated 30/05/2024


Drivers

Conflict
Displacement
Violence

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

3.9 High

Access constraints

4.0

NGA003 - Middle Belt

Last updated 30/05/2024


Drivers

Violence

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

3.2 High

Access constraints

2.0

NGA004 - Lake Chad basin crisis

Last updated 30/05/2024


Drivers

Conflict
Displacement

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

4.1 Very High

Access constraints

4.0

NGA007 - Northwest Banditry

Last updated 30/05/2024


Drivers

Violence
Displacement

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

3.5 High

Access constraints

3.0

NGA008 - Cameroonian Refugees

Last updated 30/05/2024


Drivers

Displacement

Crisis level

Country

Severity level

2 Low

Access constraints

2.0

REG001 - Lake Chad basin regional crisis

Last updated 31/05/2024


Drivers


Crisis level

Regional

Severity level

4.2 Very High

Access constraints

3.0

Analysis products
on Nigeria

Global increase of cholera: aggravated by vaccine shortage and El Niño

28 May 2024

Global increase of cholera: aggravated by vaccine shortage and El Niño

DOCUMENT / PDF / 341 KB

This report highlights the key contributing factors and aggravating conditions that can increase the global prevalence of cholera, focusing particularly on the impact of the global OCV shortage that is heightening humanitarian needs among affected populations and those vulnerable to spread. 

HealthNatural hazards
Nigeria: conflict in the northeast and northwest

03 January 2024

Nigeria: conflict in the northeast and northwest

DOCUMENT / PDF / 201 KB

Violent incidents reported include attacks, kidnapping, and extortion by non-state armed groups (NSAGs), such as Boko Haram and the Islamic State – West Africa Province (ISWAP), as well as militias known locally as bandits.

Conflict and violence
Nigeria: country-wide flooding

21 October 2022

Nigeria: country-wide flooding

DOCUMENT / PDF / 1 MB

Since June 2022, heavy rainfall and strong winds have been severely affecting Nigeria. As at 6 October, flooding had affected 33 of its 36 states. As at 20 October, the crisis had displaced more than 1.4 million people and affected over 2.5 million. The floods have triggered a cholera outbreak in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe.

Natural hazards
Lake Chad Basin: Impact of extreme weather & climate events on food security

17 August 2022

Lake Chad Basin: Impact of extreme weather & climate events on food security

DOCUMENT / PDF / 1 MB

This report aims to explore the impact of extreme weather and climate events on the humanitarian situation in the Lake Chad Basin. Since the 1970s in West and Central Africa, river floods and agricultural and ecological droughts have been increasing while average rainfall has been decreasing. These phenomena have an impact on availability of resources and land, and consequently on the economic and living conditions of the regions’ populations.

Food security & livelihoodsNatural hazards
Nigeria and Niger: Cholera outbreak

18 November 2021

Nigeria and Niger: Cholera outbreak

DOCUMENT / PDF / 2 MB

This report highlights the impact of the outbreak considering the current conflict environment and other aggravating factors.

Health
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