BusinessDay

Kaduna terrorist attacks limit access to 115m northern consumers

Residents of Kaduna, Nigeria’s North-Western region are having a rough time as terrorists constantly attack communities and transit routes in the state. In the last month, the state has experienced a barrage of kidnappings, bomb blasts and high-level insecurity in its community and along its different transport routes.

In a note on Wednesday by Towntalk Solutions, a data intelligence company, the train attacks on March 28 and 29 follow a recent trend of attacks on travel routes and severely increase the risk profile of alternative modes of transport, especially in northern Nigeria.

Road travel into Kaduna is already risky. The state ranked third in terms of road accident fatalities in 2020, with 1,426 persons killed, according the National Bureau of Statistics.

Throughout its colonial and early post-colonial history, Kaduna served as the political and administrative centre of the north and as a result, it quickly became an important hub of commerce, media, industry and trade, as well as a major academic centre with many tertiary institutions, earning the state its label, the Centre of Learning.

Kaduna is a major industrial and financial centre for northern states in Nigeria. It has since 2015 secured investments in excess of $180m in 21017, and internally generated revenue (IGR) doubled from N13bn in 2015 to N26bn in 2017 according to the Oxford Business group.

Read also: Kaduna-Abuja train attack; troubling times for a nation

With a road network that connects it to the rest of Nigeria’s 115 million-strong northern market, one of Nigeria’s top producers of maize, tomato, soya bean, ginger, rice, and is blessed with fertile land which attracted big players in the agro-allied industry such as Olam, which made a $150 million investment in animal feed manufacturing, poultry breeding and hatchery in 2017.

There have been six attacks in the past two weeks along transport routes (road, rail and air), threatening the security of lives and livelihoods in Kaduna.

 

From grace to possible state of emergency

 

In 2018, Kaduna was ranked fifth as the best state to do business in Africa’s most populous country with a score of 81.43 in the World Bank Doing Business in Nigeria report.

There is a growing concern among Nigerians that the president may declare a state of emergency in the state as a result of the turmoil in the state.

In a Twitter post by @renoomokri, he declared Kaduna as a war zone.”The best thing now is to declare a state of emergency and remove the Governor…’’

 

Timeline of travel route attack in Kaduna in the last six weeks

 

March 17, 2022: Armed bandits kidnapped over 60 people in Agunu Dutse and Katu communities in Kachia local government.

March 25, 2022: A bomb set by bandits in the Igba local government area of Kaduna state blasted killing 50 people and kidnapping 100 more in the state’s Giwa local government.

March 26, 2022: Armed bandits attacked the Kaduna international airport, causing travel disruptions for air travellers.

March 28 & 29, 2022: Bandits planted improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on train lines in Katari and Gidan, forcing the train to come to a halt, recording casualties of death and injuries.

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