A lull in business activities caused by insecurity in Kano State alone has cost the Nigerian economy N1.3trillion ($6 billion). The figure is contained in the 2011 World Investment Report of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The report says that the Nigerian economy lost over $6 billion (N1.3 trillion) as a result of attacks by the Boko Haram group.
The report, monitored on the Voice of America (VoA), said the Centre for Research and Documentation in Kano attributed the development to a drop in earnings for nearly all businesses in the state. Already, a new programme devoted to searching for solutions to the challenges facing businesses in the state has been initiated. Known as Enhancing Nigerian Advocacy for a Better Business Environment (ENABLE), the project is a partnership between the Kano-based centre and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID).
Mr. Umar Ibrahim Yakubu, the executive director of the centre, located along Sokoto Road in the Government Reserved Area (GRA) of Kano, said: “We discovered that 97 per cent of businesses were negatively affected by the security problem. Some of them had to close down, some of them had to retrench their workers and others had to cut down in the number of hours of operation.” Yakubu said the research covered businesses across various sectors including manufacturing, commerce, hospitality, and crafts and trade.
The findings were disseminated in a seminar to stakeholders, the private sector and the government. It aims to solicit their input and devise ways of addressing the challenges, he added. Alhaji Ali Madugu, Vice President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and Managing Director of Kano-based firm, Dala Foods, according to the report, advised businessmen to keep their businesses going despite the security challenges, but called on authorities to relax the tough stop-and-search measures at check points.
The study notes that security is not the only problem affecting Kano’s business owners. It stated that the area is also affected by an erratic power supply as well as lack of credit and inconsistent government policies.