President of LCCI, Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, in a statement in Lagos, revealed that the loss would definitely have dire consequences on the already fragile economy that is yet to come out of the COVID-19 crisis.
She said: “The LCCI is, however, concerned about the negative impact that the protracted nature of the #EndSARS protests have on business activities across the country.
“Over the past 12 days, economic activities have been crippled in most parts of the country and has been particularly profound in the urban areas.
The Nigerian economy has suffered an estimated N700 billion loss in the past 12 days.” She condemned the high rate of damage to goods and services, stressing that dialogue remained the best option in resolving the lingering protest between the Nigerian youths and government. According to her, it is necessary to reduce the massive disruptions, blockades and barricades around major cities and interstate highways.
“The #EndSARS protest has been impactful and profound. It has demonstrated in unmistakeable terms the power of the people and the potency of the energy of our youths to bring about change.
“The protest has achieved some significant outcome given the reawakening that it has generated in reforming the shortcomings in our political governance and the fact that some of the demands of the protesters have been met.
“The LCCI, whose mandate is to be the voice of business and protect the livelihoods of all those in the business community, wishes to recommend that the protesters progress to the next stage of civic engagement, which is the dialogue phase of this struggle.
“This is necessary to reduce the massive disruptions, blockades and barricades around our major cities and interstate highways,” she said. The renowned industrialist explained that these actions had been at great cost to the economy and the welfare of Nigerian citizens.
“It should be noted that our economy is still reeling from the shocks of COVID-19 and struggling to recover from its devastating effects. “We have begun to witness various unintended outcomes of this protest. There is a great risk that the situation may degenerate into a case of the complete breakdown of law and order, which is certainly not in consonance with the objectives of the #EndSARS peaceful protests.
“It is important to avoid a situation where even more hardship is inflicted on the very citizens that the protesters are seeking to protect,” she added.
In aligning with the protesters, the LCCI proposed three points agenda, including the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari should urgently grant audience to the leadership of the #EndSARS to deliberate on the way forward and to agree on an action plan for the delivery of agreed outcomes; commit to rapid improvement in governance quality and accountability by effecting necessary institutional, policy and regulatory reforms, not only for the police, but the entire public sector ecosystem, as well as a call on the leadership of #End- SARS to occupy the seats provided to participate in the reforms to be implemented by government in response to their demands.
The Chamber also commiserated with families of those who lost their lives through the brutality of the Police and all those who have suffered in one way or the other the cruel and unjust acts of the Police, especially the officers of SARS unit. (New Telegraph)