Monday, 18 August 2014

Nigeria's Economy At Risk Due To Stigmatization and Discrimination From Ebola –LCCI

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, has expressed fear that Nigeria’s economy may be at risk going by the stigmatisation the Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, has put on the country. It also said that the current international isolation and unwarranted discrimination against the Nigerians travelling abroad might impact the economy of the country negatively.

The LCCI in a statement yesterday by the President, Alhaji Remi Bello, urged the business community to support the current efforts by governments aimed at controlling the spread of the deadly disease in the country. “There is currently the risk of international
isolation, stigmatisation and unwarranted discriminatory practices against the citizens travelling
outside our shores. This has grave consequences for the economy and the citizens,” Bello said. The chamber
has commended the governments on the measures taken so far to contain the spread of the disease.

Although it regretted the outbreak of EVD in the country, saying the incident was avoidable but for the failure of the country's system which could not stop the Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, the carrier of the virus, from gaining entry into the country.

"Nevertheless, we note with satisfaction the measures taken so far by the federal and state governments to contain the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease in the
country,” the chamber stated.

Bello, therefore, appealed to the private sector and the citizenry to also, in demonstration of their support for nationwide initiatives being undertaking to curb the spread of the disease, comply with protective measures as advised by the health authorities.

“We urge the business community and the entire citizenry to support the current efforts at containment of the disease. Given the way it came to Nigeria, current scope of the spread and the containment strategies, we are confident that before long, the situation would be fully brought under control.

“We urge all citizens to comply with protective measures as advised by the health authorities with regard to body contacts, general hygiene and making prompt reports of suspected cases,” he said. According to him, as the containment measures progress, the imperative of discretion in information management needs to be underscored just as care should be taken not to escalate the Ebola crisis beyond the reality of its occurrence. He noted that the Ebola hype had created a disproportionate panic, anxiety and scare, projecting the country as endemic Ebola zone.