The government of Enugu State, led by Governor Peter Mbah, claims to have closed 106 businesses and two banks for allegedly adhering to a sit-at-home order issued by a faction of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Simon Ekpa, on Monday.
The governor stated that all of the firms would remain closed for a week before his administration decided whether to sell them off or reopen them under specific terms.
In a statement issued by the secretary to the state government, Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, the governor alleged that members of the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority shut down 106 establishments and two banks on Monday.
The drill on Monday was overseen by Onyia, who claimed that it was in accordance with the governor’s advice. He continued by saying that Mbah’s intention was not to punish companies but rather to spread and ingrain in businesspeople the notion of “no sit-at-home.”
“The government had directed business and shop owners to open for normal business on Monday and every work day, or have the defaulting business premises and shops sealed,” the SSG said in prior announcements to the good people and citizens of Enugu State.
“That was exactly what the government did on Monday, July 24, 2023, to enforce its earlier directives.
“All businesses that were sealed shall remain sealed for one week, at the end of which they shall provide their current tax clearance certificates and all other relevant revenue documents to enable the state government to review and consider their formal letters for re-opening.
“Again, all considerations start from Friday, July 28, 2023, at 2pm at the Enugu State Capital Development Authority headquarters.”
Onyia said the sealing of the businesses was not punitive but ownership culture, “where all of us come together to fight the menace of the illegal sit-at-home in the state.
“We are taking it up not because Mbah is in the business of stopping economic growth but to fight those that think they can intimidate us.”
He added that a task force created by the state government would be in the markets next Monday to continue to monitor the situation.
“We saw shops that were not open and we sealed them.
“That is why ECTDA is here and the owners should go through a process to get them reopened,” he said.