The signing of a ceasefire agreement between the Federal Government and Boko Haram has been described by economy watchers as a good omen for the development of the nation’s economy, particularly, in the North east region..
An Economist, Dr Jare Odekunle, told The Street Journal that the ceasefire agreement would help rejuvenate economic activities in the North east region of the country. Odekunle noted that there can never be economic development in a situation of war like we had in the three States under emergency rule in the North.
According to him, investors’ confidence would be restored, with multiple effects on economic activities in the affected area. He lamented that insurgency had denied the north eastern part of the country substantial economic gains and development due to the crisis that claimed thousands of lives of able bodied citizens of the country
Dr Wilson Agbaje-Ojo, a marketing communication practitioner, noted that the ceasefire agreement would encourage commercial activities in the area. Agbaje-Ojo, the Managing Director/CEO of Giltedge Advertising Limited, pointed out that .the Boko Haram affected States had been treated like a pariah community due to the insecurity.
In a chat with The Street Journal on Saturday,he said marketing activities were hampered in the area as manufacturers of products deserted the region while sales people treated the area like a leper for fear of dear lives, stressing that the incidence of insurgency had dwelt a big blow on the economic life of the people of the area.
Agbaje-Ojo noted with dismay that the Boko Haram had compounded the poverty situation in the Northern part of the country.
A stock broker, Mr David Igwe, could not hide his joy at the new development, saying it’s the beginning of many good things to happen to the nation’s capital market.
He said the capital market had had its own share of the security problem with the consistent share price losing freak on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. He noted that the capital market thrives on investors’ confidence. Igwe however, pointed out that the dearth of investors’ confidence impacted negatively on the fortunes of companies listed on the stock exchange. He said institutional and foreign investors who control the larger chunk of the market were still apprehensive about the insecurity situation in the country, leading to many of them off-loading for a more clement clime to invest in.
The Vice President of the association, Miners Association of Nigeria Mr Edward Danladi, said that the insecurity situation had negatively affected the economic fortunes of the country.
He cited the low participation of foreign companies in the just-concluded Abuja International Trade Fair as one of the manifestations of the crisis in the northeast.
He said this development contrasted with previous edition which used to record high level of participants from abroad.
Danladi said the agreement was expected to positively affect the nation’s economy as the country could not afford insecurity at this level of its economic development.
“The agreement will affect the economic sector of the country positively as the country in a period of development whereby it desperately needs peace and security”, he said.
According to him, the insurgency limited economic activities in the region and axis of trade between the northeast and other parts of the country was also limited.
He said with the new development, the business activities would pick up again as Boko Haram members would no longer operate freely.
Some Nigerians on Friday also lauded the Federal Government peace deal with the Boko haram sect.
In his reaction, a lawyer, Mr John Abu, said that the activities of the sect had caused a lot of economic losses to the northeast region of the country.
“You know that since the beginning of terrorism activities in that region economic activities have been on the decline,” he said.
According to Abu, the five-year siege on the region by Boko Haram has not only impacted negatively on that region, but Nigeria as a whole.
He lamented that activities of the insurgents had prevented foreign investors from coming to invest in the country for the fear of the unknown.
Similarly, Alhaji Umar Bello, a contractor, said that the peace deal would encourage more investments in the region which was dreaded by Nigerians.
He urged the federal government to, as a matter of priority, help the region by investing in critical sectors to alleviate the loss of the people.
Umar urged Nigerian businessmen to invest more money in the region, adding that the gesture would go a long way in alleviating the suffering of the people.
Also speaking, the Programmes Manager, Ambassadors Initiative for Development and Empowerment, an NGO, Mr Yusuf Goje, said the ceasefire agreement was good development.
He said it was interesting that the federal government had decided to take a non-violent approach to ending the insurgency in the north.
He also urged the federal government to sustain the agreement through proper implementation.
Goje said if both parties keep to the terms of the agreement it would bring economic development of the area as the people would return to their economic and social activities.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, disclosed the ceasefire with Boko Haram in Abuja.
He spoke at the close of the three-day coordinating conference of the Nigeria-Cameroon trans-border military operations