How the Russia-Ukraine War Will Affect Nigeria ||Caleb Onyeabor

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Following the breakdown and failure of diplomatic efforts, war has broken out between Russia and Ukraine. President Putin has ordered a special military operation that saw Russian military forces cross into Ukraine, a move that was greeted with global condemnation especially by leaders of the west and members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Early airstrikes and missile launch has been recorded. There has been reported casualties on both sides of the military and destruction of properties and other civilian casualties on the Ukrainian sides. Countries through their embassies have advised their citizens to either vacate Ukraine or take safety precautions. The Nigerian embassy in Kiev has not been left out in this trend as it has advised Nigerians to either take safety precautions or make private arrangements to relocate.

The Russian-Ukraine war has some international consequences. Nigerians who are so enthusiastic about the whole situation should also know that although the scene of the war is geographically distant, it’s impact are immediate, short term as well as long term.

There are two important areas in which the Russia-Ukraine war will affect Nigeria.

Firstly, Nigeria is an oil exporting country. The build up to the war and the war itself has had an immediate impact on the price of oil in the international market. Brent Oil for instance has risen slightly above $100, the first time since 2014. With rising crude oil prices, Nigeria as an oil exporting nation ought to benefit from the surge. This means there is a potential boom which the nation should benefit from. This should translate to more revenue and if properly managed and harnessed, increased savings. The 2022 budget was set to run at $50 per barrel. With increasing international oil prices, there is bound to be surplus. It is worthy to note that one of the biggest excuses given by the Buhari administration for its underperformance is the fall in the price of crude just before it assumed office in 2015 which has affected Government revenue and hence the reason for massive borrowings. Crude oil price is bouncing back thanks to the Russia-Ukraine war. Nigeria ought to gain from this as it means more revenue for the government.

Secondly, the international arms market is currently active. The armory of both the Russian and Ukrainian military are obviously open. Arms and ammunitions will be in circulation. There is a big break in the window for the movement and proliferation of small arms and light weapons. Arms merchant and contractors can as well take advantage of this event to secure weapons for insurgent groups in Nigeria – a move that is very likely to affect Nigeria’s security operation as insurgents can source weapons from the arms spillover that will emanate from this war. The Ukrainian Government has announced plans to supply arms to citizens willing to take up one. This free for all supply of arms if it materializes will be a source of weapons for countries battling insurgency of which Nigeria is one. Again, Russia’s recognition of the independence and sovereignty of the Donesk and Lugansk area of Ukraine can turn the focus of separatist groups seeking to break away from Nigeria and influence then into seeking support and alliance with Russia, a move which portends deadly implications.

How the Government chooses to take advantage of the economic benefits the Russia-Ukraine war will bring to Nigeria citing rising oil prices and how it chooses to be vigilant on the security threat of the war especially in terms of the flow of weapons for insurgent groups will go a long way in determining the legacies of the Russia-Ukraine war on Nigeria.Following the breakdown and failure of diplomatic efforts, war has broken out between Russia and Ukraine. President Putin has ordered a special military operation that saw Russian military forces cross into Ukraine, a move that was greeted with global condemnation especially by leaders of the west and members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Early airstrikes and missile launch has been recorded. There has been reported casualties on both sides of the military and destruction of properties and other civilian casualties on the Ukrainian sides. Countries through their embassies have advised their citizens to either vacate Ukraine or take safety precautions. The Nigerian embassy in Kiev has not been left out in this trend as it has advised Nigerians to either take safety precautions or make private arrangements to relocate.

The Russian-Ukraine war has some international consequences. Nigerians who are so enthusiastic about the whole situation should also know that although the scene of the war is geographically distant, it’s impact are immediate, short term as well as long term.

There are two important areas in which the Russia-Ukraine war will affect Nigeria.

Firstly, Nigeria is an oil exporting country. The build up to the war and the war itself has had an immediate impact on the price of oil in the international market. Brent Oil for instance has risen slightly above $100, the first time since 2014. With rising crude oil prices, Nigeria as an oil exporting nation ought to benefit from the surge. This means there is a potential boom which the nation should benefit from. This should translate to more revenue and if properly managed and harnessed, increased savings. The 2022 budget was set to run at $50 per barrel. With increasing international oil prices, there is bound to be surplus. It is worthy to note that one of the biggest excuses given by the Buhari administration for its underperformance is the fall in the price of crude just before it assumed office in 2015 which has affected Government revenue and hence the reason for massive borrowings. Crude oil price is bouncing back thanks to the Russia-Ukraine war. Nigeria ought to gain from this as it means more revenue for the government. While higher revenue for Government is the up side of this development, higher fuel prices are likely to follow since the Government has made a policy that will let fuel prices be determined by international price.

Secondly, the international arms market is currently active. The armory of both the Russian and Ukrainian military are obviously open. Arms and ammunitions will be in circulation. There is a big break in the window for the movement and proliferation of small arms and light weapons. Arms merchant and contractors can as well take advantage of this event to secure weapons for insurgent groups in Nigeria – a move that is very likely to affect Nigeria’s security operation as insurgents can source weapons from the arms spillover that will emanate from this war. The Ukrainian Government has announced plans to supply arms to citizens willing to take up one. This free for all supply of arms if it materializes will be a source of weapons for countries battling insurgency of which Nigeria is one. Again, Russia’s recognition of the independence and sovereignty of the Donesk and Luhansk area of Ukraine can turn the focus of separatist groups seeking to break away from Nigeria and influence then into seeking support and alliance with Russia, a move which portends deadly implications.

How the Government chooses to take advantage of the economic benefits the Russia-Ukraine war will bring to Nigeria citing rising oil prices and how it chooses to be vigilant on the security threat of the war especially in terms of the flow of weapons for insurgent groups will go a long way in determining the legacies of the Russia-Ukraine war on Nigeria.

Caleb Onyeabor is a Nigerian intellectual, an avid advocate for political justice, social justice, and economic justice. Author of Diary of a Messed Up country. Follow him on Twitter via twitter.com/caleb_onyeabor

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