Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has said that the activities of Boko Haram terrorists have so far affected the economy of the North-East to the tune of about $9bn.
The army chief said this in Lagos while delivering a paper at the inaugural Annual Conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers of Nigeria, noting that the army had rescued more than 300,000 hostages of the terrorists between 2015 and now.
Buratai’s paper titled, “Counter-insurgency and role of the Nigerian Army in creating conducive environment for Nigeria’s economic development”, was read by the General Officer Commanding, 81 Division, Maj. Gen. Peter Dauke.
He said, “It is regrettable that the economic impact of the Boko Haram activities in the North-East is estimated at $9bn. Borno State had the highest impact estimated at $5.9bn. Also, the loss of agricultural production in the North-East caused by terrorist activities was $3.5bn.
“The restructuring of the army operations in the North-East in 2015 yielded fruitful results. This restructuring changed the counter-insurgency strategies by adopting an aggressive posture, effective command and control, efficient use of weapon and logistics with particular attention to the welfare of the troops.
“Hence, not less than 1,009 Boko Haram terrorists have surrendered voluntarily to troops while 1,140 others have been arrested. Another 1,500 Boko Haram terrorists are under investigation.”
The army chief said that the Borno, Adamawa and Yobe state governments had embarked on the reconstruction of damaged schools, bridges, hospitals and other critical infrastructure aimed at recreating socioeconomic activities across the region.