Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, has said the South East lost about N4 trillion to the sit-at-home order of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the last two years.
Kalu said the order being observed every Monday across the five states of the region, has stifled economic growth.
Delivering a keynote address on Friday at the, “All Markets Conference 2023” with the theme: “Catalysing Partnership with Traders through Innovation, Technology, Analytics & Sustainability” in Lagos, the deputy speaker said the situation had forced potential investors out of the South East.
Kalu called for collective efforts by all Igbo sons and daughters to end the menace.
“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 largely 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”, he said.
Kalu called for the revival of Igbo apprenticeship system which he said had produced successful business men and women, stressing that it should not be allowed to go into extinction.