Nigeria has joined the league of countries battling separatist movement in their territory. Just like others, this struggle is coming at a huge economic cost to the people and government.
Based on the estimated daily cost of a similar economic shout-down in May 2017, the military operations have cost the state’s economy a whopping N19.5 billion ($54.17 million) for the three days – based on N6.5 billion ($18.06 million).
According to Mr Sam Hart, a Senior Special Assistant to the Abia Governor on Public Communications, the army operational has crippled the State’s economy.
“We will continue our diplomacy. This is an economic blockade. No meaningful economic progress can be made while this siege persists.
“Businesses are the first casualties in a state of unrest and tension. Banks and shops have been closed for three days. They don’t care. We do,” Hart says whiling addressing the business cost of the military operations in the region.
Fears have also heightened in the region as the Nigerian Army finally declared the group a terrorist group on Friday, September 15, 2017. This was contained in a statement in Abuja by Major-General John Enenche, the Director, Defence Information (DDI) of Nigerian Military force.
“After due professional analysis and recent developments, it has become expedient to notify the general public that the claim by IPOB actors that the organisation is non-violent is not true.
“From the foregoing, the Armed Forces of Nigeria wish to confirm to the general public that IPOB from all intent, plan and purpose as analysed, is a militant terrorist organisation,” the DDI said.
This means there would be a total or restriction of movements in the region. This would greatly impact the economy of the state. Contractors, corporate businesses and aid organisations are noted to have either downscale or shut operations.
The resultant effects are expected to impact negatively on employment, revenue of government as well as development and humanitarian activities in the state.
“This is also taking a huge toll on our fragile finances. 100s of millions have been paid out within the week to security agencies. There is no other order of business in the State this whole week other than paying security agencies to keep the peace. For how long?,” Mr Hart says.
“Contractors have all left site. In the middle of the period, we are trying to build bad roads. Who bears the brunt? How long to remobilise? Aid agencies, foreign and multilateral organisations have all recalled their staff. Some back to their countries. Are we at war?
“Who is counting the cost? Who will bear the consequences? Who will clean up the mess you have made? At what cost? Who will answer questions?.”
CREDITS: BUSINESS INSIDER