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N4trn Lost To Sit-at-Home Order In South East.



The deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, has said about N4 trillion had been lost to the stay-at-home order in the South-East region within the past two years.

Kalu said the situation observed every Monday in the region in the five states of Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, and Imo had crippled businesses and stifled opportunities for economic growth.


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The deputy speaker spoke in a keynote address delivered at the ‘All Markets Conference 2023’ with the theme: “Catalysing Partnership with Traders through Innovation, Technology, Analytics & Sustainability” held in Lagos yesterday.

Kalu said the order had forced potential investors out of the South-East, adding that violence was alien to the region and called for collective efforts by all Igbo sons and daughters to end the menace.

He said: “The existential threat to Igbo entrepreneurship and businesses now is the insecurity and sit-at-home problem in the South-East. The mutation of this problem is mainly unfathomable. It is becoming a cankerworm that is eating deep into our collective fortune as a people.

“We have to rise up to nip the problem in the bud. The first wave of the migration of Igbo businesses post-civil war was in the late 1980s and the 1990s, when, due to incessant kidnappings, thievery and a rise in occultism, Igbo businesses domiciled in Igboland moved en masse to other parts of Nigeria and the west & central African region to thrive.

“We are currently witnessing the second wave of such migration of Igbos businesses, this time around, due to the insecurity and the sit-at-home problem in our beloved region. Ummunnem, this is not us. We are not known for these. If I do not tell you these truths as your son, then it will be difficult for anyone in governance from Ala-Igbo to tell you.”

Kalu also called for the revival of the Igbo apprenticeship system, a time-tested practice which he said had produced successful business men and women, stressing that it should not be allowed to go into extinction.

He said he would be working with lawmakers from the South-East in the National Assembly committedly to reinvigorate the zone.


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