The Nigerian economy has lost over N700 billion to the #EndSARS protest over the last 12 days. This has led to growing concerns as efforts are being made towards resuscitation of national economic activities due to the economic redundancy caused by the Covid-19 lockdown.
Reports have it that the Lagos State Government has lost at least N234 million to the closure of tollgates since the commencement of the #EndSARS protest. The figure was obtained from the daily and monthly targets set for the tollgates by the government.
Also, in Asaba, Delta state, part of the Niger Bridge has been blocked hindering the free-flow of people and goods from one location to another. This shut down in business activities, vehicular movement on account of the protest has forestalled economic progress.
Mrs Toki Mabogunje, the President, LCCI, stated that the loss of N700BN due to the protest has affected business activities in the country, especially in the cities. She emphasized the need to protect the livelihood of Nigerians, including the business community. She urged the protesters to advance to the next stage of civic engagement which is dialogue.
‘This is necessary to reduce the massive disruptions, blockades and barricades around our major cities and interstate highways. These actions have 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 the Covid 19 Pandemic and struggling to recover from its devastating effects’, she said.
Mr Timothy Olawale, the Director General of the Nigeria Employers Consultation Association (NECA) expressed concerns on the socio-economic implications of continued protest and the need to arrest the situation. He stated the urgent need to curb the situation as it presently seems the nation is heading for another shutdown of the economy on account of the protest.
Besides, business instability sends the wrong signal to international community. It affects foreign investments as a result of instability. There is therefore the urgent need to end the protest as this might further culminate to an economic downturn.