by Lekan Olanrewaju
Chairman of the Conference of Northern States Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture has stated that the Northern region of Nigeria loses about N25 billion daily to the activities of Boko Haram.
Alhaji Ahmad Rabiu, who is also the president of the Kano Chamber of Commerce, while speaking in Abuja, stated that business activities which thrived at night were being forced to close early due to fear of attacks, which resulted in monthly losses of about N700 billion.
“What started in Maiduguri is fast catching up with all of the northern region and the business community is very worried. We realised that when you have boxed people into a corner, they are not able to operate during the business hours of the night,” he said.
Rabiu complained further that most of the business activities of the day are also having their push in the night.
“Most supermarkets close at 6pm because of fear of security breach. More than 50 per cent of economic activities happen at night; they don’t happen these days or they have been pushed to the lowest and, in a month, you are looking at a loss of about N700 billion”.
“Now, the effect of these is, you are looking at all the components of loss – that activities have not taken place, capital has been eroded.” he said, in an interview with Leadership. “So when you put all these things together you find that the loss is insurmountable, but we, in our estimation, going by certain indices, put the losses at N25 billion daily. And insecurity in Kano State is threatening businesses and sending away companies.”
“Not too long ago, I think in 2008, an agency of the United Nations put the figure of commercial motorcyclists operating in Kano at two million. Given that the minimum return each of these cyclists make to the owners is N500 daily, it pre-supposes that, that sector alone is contributing, at minimum, between N1 bn – N2 bn daily. Yet, there are tens of such sectors; some even bringing more money to the economy. Now, they make far less because they must close by 6pm every day.”