Nigeria’s Army Chief, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, says the economic impact of Boko Haram activities in the North East is estimated at $9 billion (N274.5b).
Buratai, represented by Maj. Gen. Peter Dauke, General Officer Commanding 81 division Lagos, made the assertion on Thursday at the first annual conference of Guild of Corporate Online Publishers, GOCOP.
This was contained in a paper titled Counter- Insurgency and Role of the Nigerian Army in Creating Conducive Environment For Nigeria`s Economic Development.
Buratai said that of the figure, Borno had the highest impact estimated at $5.9 billion (N180b).
He said that loss of agricultural production in the North East caused by Boko Haram activities was $3.5 billion (N107b).
The army chief said that Borno had 95 per cent of the 400,000 houses damaged by Boko Haram.
According to him, the restructuring of the army’s operations in the zone in 2015 yielded fruitful results.
He said: “This restructuring changed the counter insurgency strategies by adopting aggressive posture, effective command and control, efficient use of weapon and logistics with particular attention to welfare of the troops.”
Buratai said that the new strategy led to the recapturing of territories occupied by the insurgents, rescue of about 300,000 hostages.
He said: “Furthermore, not less than 1,009 Boko Haram terrorists have surrendered voluntarily, while 1,140 others have been arrested and another 1,500 confirmed boko haram terrorists are under investigation.”
The Army Chief stated that with improved security, the Borno Adamawa and Yobe governments had embarked on reconstruction of damaged schools, bridges, hospitals and other critical infrastructure aimed at recreating socio-economic activities of the areas.
Buratai said that in keeping with its constitutional mandate of defending the nation, the army would ensure that the right atmosphere to promote economic development was maintained in the country.