Skyline University Nigeria

The Economic Aspect of Human Security and Covid 19 in Nigeria


Throughout the history of mankind, human lives have been threatened with various outbreaks of disease and pandemic; Polio, small and Chickenpox, and the Spanish Flu, all of which has caused the deaths of millions across the world. Recently, the Coronavirus (Covid19) outbreak which first emerged in Wuhan, China has put global village at a halt for over a year as the virus spread internationally. Reports indicated that over 133 million people were affected in the world, with 2.9 million deaths.

The Economic Aspect of Human Security and Covid 19 in Nigeria

Developed and advanced nations like the USA seemly suffered the most, with over 30 million cases and a death toll of 500,000. Likewise in other European countries like France and Spain. The virus did not only put a stop to world activities but also led to socio-economic downfall as several studies have indicated. There is no doubt that the Covid-19 virus has had a detrimental effect on the social, political, and economic sphere of human security. 

The United Nations development Programme defined human security as safety from chronic threats such as hunger, repression, and diseases. According to the Copenhagen School of security studies, individual vulnerabilities are more complex than ever, contemporary more individuals suffer from diseases, hunger, and interstates conflict. The paradigm of human security extends beyond the traditional state-centric view of security centres on individuals safety such as freedom from fear, wants, and indignity. The dimensions extend to health, economic, environmental, food, etc.

It is worthy to highlight that despite the several aspects of the concept, the dimension is interrelated. For example, lack of good health and security can directly affect the nature in which economic activities are conducted i.e. essential agricultural produce for human satisfaction. Thus, this paper will mainly focus on the impact of Covid-19 on the economic aspect of human security. 

Human security has always been a major issue in Nigeria, especially in terms of economy, health, hunger and insecurity. These are practical problems that the nation struggle to mitigate since independence. According to The Organizations for Economic Cooperation and Development (OEDC, 2020) before the pandemic, Africa was experiencing a slowdown in poverty and economic growth. As of 2019, Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth which was 3.6%, and growth per capita, around 0.7%, were insufficient to drive rapid economic transformation in the continent (Umukoro, 2020). 

Nigerian economy heavily depends on crude oil production, as the pandemic spread internationally, most international markets and economic activities came to a halt, with several states imposing curfews and lockdowns, thus affecting the economy of the country. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) estimates the losses linked to the collapse of the prices of the crude oil barrel at US$65 billion, of which up to US$19 billion losses are expected in Nigeria. In the same vein, Zeng (2020) as cited in Umukoro (2020) stated that the sub-Saharan region will experience a decline from 2.4 % in 2019 to -2.1% and -5.1% in 2020 in economic growth, depending on how the virus is contained. Moreover, the world poverty clock reported that over 100 million Nigerians live under 1.9$ a day and considered in extreme poverty. 

Evidently, with the above data and national lockdown that was imposed by the federal government of Nigeria to mitigate the spread of the virus, which played a significant role in affecting small scale business that operates on daily wages and profit i.e. Food hawkers, Tea sellers, barbershops and restaurants. Most people who engage in this small scale business depend on the daily profit for survival. Furthermore, the restriction of movement also led to an increase in the price of agricultural and food products all over the country. Therefore, making it more difficult for the poor to feed their families.

According to an article published under the International Community of The Red Cross “The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic put additional strain on the vulnerable communities in the North-East of Nigeria, where the decade-long armed conflict is severely hampering agricultural production and self-sufficiency of local farmers. Everywhere we work the food prices have gone up, in some places they doubled. It means that millions of people in the North-East of Nigeria do not have enough to eat” said the economic security Programme coordinator for the ICRC.

In Conclusion, it can be argued that the Covid 19 virus has negatively affected human security in Nigeria through the economic downfall and shutdown of small scale businesses in the country which directly affected individuals ability to attain food security.       

Reference 2021. NCDC Coronavirus COVID-19 Microsite. [Online] Available at: 2021. GRIN – The Impact of COVID19 on Human Security in Nigeria

International Committee of the Red Cross. 2021. Nigeria: Sharp increase in food prices caused by COVID-19 raises fear of hunger

Subramanian, S. and Mukherjee, D., 2017. ON INTERMEDIATE HEADCOUNT INDICES OF POVERTY. Bulletin of Economic Research, 70(4), pp.443-451.

Subramanian, S. and Mukherjee, D., 2017. ON INTERMEDIATE HEADCOUNT INDICES OF POVERTY. Bulletin of Economic Research, 70(4), pp.443-451.

Umukoro, N., 2020. Coronavirus Disease Outbreak and Human Security in Africa. Journal of Peacebuilding & Development, p.154231662096965.

Upreti, B. R. (2013). Human security in Nepal: concepts, issues and challenges. R. Bhattarai, & G. S. Wagle (Eds.). Nepal Institute for Policy Studies and South Asia Regional Coordination Office of NCCR (North-South).

Wambua, M., Wambua, M., Radi, S., Hamasi, L., Ngendo-Tshimba, D. and Bereketeab, R., 2021. Covid-19, Human Security Crisis, and the Responsibility to Protect

World Bank. 2021. Nigeria releases new report on poverty and inequality in country.


Mr.  Farid Iliyasu Illo is a Lecturer II of the Department of International Relations, Skyline University Nigeria. He holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies from University Utara Malaysia (UUM)

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