The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has revealed in its new survey that most businesses (55 per cent) have temporarily shut down operations due to major losses incurred during the #EndSARS protests. LCCI in a report titled: ‘The ‘Impact of the #EndSARS Looting on Businesses in Nigeria,’ cited by New Telegraph correspondent showed that many Nigerian businesses lost various valuable goods and properties worth billions of naira to the 14-day protests.
Particularly, the chamber stated in the report that the violence and destructions put lots of MSME businesses, manufacturing firms, local and private and public investors concerns into risks, thereby hitting the economy severely.
The LCCI made these known in the new survey, which was coordinated by Dr. Mathew Ojo, an Asst. Director, Research and Advocacy in Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and three other senior officials. The chamber said: “We also had 44 per cent of respondents operating below 50 per cent capacity and these businesses are struggling to recover from the disruptions caused by hoodlums. However, about five per cent of respondents are working at full capacity despite the economic disruption which means these businesses were quite isolated from these disruptions.”
On the cost of looting, the LCCI survey showed that most respondents (38 per cent) lost more than a million as many of them are micro businesses. “We had 36 per cent of respondents who lost between N1 and N10 million due to the looting spree. About 28 per cent of the small businesses lost N10 to N50 million. Also, just eight per cent lost above N50 million. LCCI earlier estimated that the #EndSAR disruption cost the Nigerian economy as much as N1.34 trillion. This level of loss has affected most businesses’ assets and their ability to continued operations,” LCCI stated in the survey.
The survey explained that the #EndSARS crisis caused straits in the economy and put more pressure on the country’s inflation rate during the period. The LCCI survey reads: “The Nigerian youths embarked on a 14-day peaceful protest on the 8th of October 2020 to demand the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigerian Police Force as well as other reforms which was called the ‘5for5’.
“The peaceful #EndSARS protest, which was later hijacked by hoodlums, raised security concerns and disrupted economic activities of many states of the federation. The impact of the unfortunate incident was more profound in Lagos following the looting of stores, malls and shops, and vandalization of private and public infrastructures. “The incident created a cloud of uncertainty and weakened investor’s confidence amid the unprecedented developments.
“However, the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSITF) has so far secured N2.5 billion targeted at supporting entrepreneurs, most especially, Micro, Small and Medium scale Enterprises whose businesses were destroyed by hoodlums during a spate of civil unrests across the state as over 2,500 applications have been received from various business owners.”