The Vice President National Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, (NACCIMA) Mr Tony Ejinkeonye says Nigeria will lose billions of naira due to the postponement of the general election.
Ejinkeonye who is also the Director, Business Development for Africa, Esilknet Africa Network Ltd., told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Abuja that the postponement would affect the economy adversely.
“It is quite unfortunate that the election was postponed. Economically, billions of naira have been lost and will be lost in the coming weeks. Industries, businesses including airlines were affected by the movement restriction.
“We expect also the same thing happening in the coming weeks. Most important effect is the perception of the international financial community.
“Situations like this will create panic with massive withdrawal and stoppage of funds inflow to Nigeria. I dread the effects in the stock market on Monday,” he said.
Ejinkeonye who said that it would be difficult to determine the actual figure of the loss but would be in billion of naira said however, that the real cost would be the loss of investor confidence.
He however advised Nigerians not to be discouraged but should still go and exercise their franchise next Saturday.
In the same vein President, National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTs) Mr Ken Ukaoha, said the country will lose more than N140 billion due to the postponement.
Ukaoha noted that the postponement would affect the economy adversely in terms of money that the government, political parties and ordinary Nigerians had already expended on logistics and otherwise.
He described the election postponement as appalling and unfortunate which could make the nation become a laughing stock in among comity of nations.
“The loss is monumental if you look at the economic consequences, essentially if you look at trading; Nigeria depends so much on daily turning of fund through distribution and redistribution of goods and commodity.
“I am telling you that with this calculation I have just done here, we are losing nothing less than 140 billion naira, because we all got this information so late
“If you go round now you will see that the shops are close, so we are losing chunk of money just for this incident.
“We are not talking about the manufacturers and the industrialists because they have all sent their workers away to go and perform their civic duty.
“Farmers did not go to their farms because they want to exercise their franchise. If you do the computation your guess is as good as mine in terms of what the nation is losing, we should learn.”
He said: “The truth is that it appeared that the nation has refused to get things right, the implication is that if care is not taken the country will become a laughing stock in the minds of comity of nations
“You could remembered that Ghana had elections which had no encumbrances, no itches attached hereto, Cote D’ Ivoire has, Liberia just had these are countries that should be learning from us.
“If you take a look at what happened in 2015 and what we ran into now I think we should be matured and man enough to learn because this thing will continue to follow us in every election.”He expressed concern over the resources that would be wasted in the conduct of the elections due to the postponement.
“Whether we like it or not we are going to spend more money in the conduct of the election, we have lost quiet a lot.
“Number two, beyond what INEC is going to re-spend in terms of security; in terms of logistic that it is hinging on we are going to spend more,” he said.
According to him, the government would have spent the money to address issues such as infrastructure, health, education and payment of workers’ salaries.However, Ukaoha advised traders and farmers to ensure that they voted on Saturday as the future of the country depended on them as well as other.