#ElectionPostponed: Business Owners, Others Count Losses In Rivers
Residents, including business owners in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, have lamented the postponement of last Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections, saying it has resulted in financial losses for them.
Some business owners, who expressed anger during an interview with our correspondent, said their work had been affected because commercial activities were crippled following the declaration of Saturday (February 16th) as election day.
A business owner, James Akpan said INEC completely destabilised him by the postponement announcement.
He said: “They have thwarted all my plans. Things I was supposed to have done on Friday, I had to shelve them so that I could be around for the elections. Now, they want me to incur losses again next week?
“It continues to baffle me why a country that has spent so much preparing for this election will at the last minute cancel it. Considering all the monumental sums that have been given to INEC, what is the issue of logistics here?''
Manager of an event centre in the Diobu area of the city, Patrick Nwogu, told our correspondent that apart from the loss they had incurred following the initial scheduling of the elections for Saturday, the postponement of the exercise to next week had also caused them problems in advance.
According to him, clients, who have booked their facility for next week are already demanding a refund as a result of the development.
He said, “We are perhaps the biggest losers of this sad situation. While we are still lamenting the revenue we have lost today, we are already facing more troubles for next week.
“Some clients are already requesting a refund because they also cannot hold their ceremonies next Saturday as a result of the postponement. This is very sad.”
An economist, Chijioke Ekechukwu, believes the postponement of the elections will affect credit rating and already threatened portfolio investments in the country.
Ekechukwu noted that the investments would likely flow out in large value.
According to him, beginning from Feb. 16, the stock market will go bearish due to the postponement.
“What will the international observers who already had their return tickets for Monday or Tuesday do after the failed election.
“They will indeed fly back and not come back as they didn’t budget for any extra cost and extra stay.
“What will happen to school children who are at home presently because of the election.’’
Ekechukwu expressed worry that Nigerians would be made to bear the losses.
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