The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) disclosed that Nigeria has lost more than N700 billion in economic value since the #EndSARS protests started 14 days ago.
This disclosure was contained in a statement by The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), through the Chambers President, Toki Mabogunje.
According to Mrs Toki Mabogunje, LCCI uncovered that the Nigerian economy has suffered an estimated ₦700 billion loss in the past twelve days.
Mrs Mabogunje explained that the peaceful protest has started to witness various unintended outcomes, despite its positive and noble objectives.
She emphasized that these unintended outcomes coming from the frustration of the youths, have been at great cost to the economy and this continues to create bottlenecks and disruptions to businesses and the economy in general.
What you should know
The ongoing protest by Nigerian youths against police brutality has entered the thirteenth day, and this development has adversely affected the economy of states across the country, as protesters continue to mount blockades and barricades around major cities and interstate highways.
However, as the protests induced-disruption continue to pile up on the economy, economists and financial experts have made an estimate that businesses in the country lose at least N10 billion daily since the commencement of the #EndSARS protests.
In like manner, Nairametrics reported that the Lagos State Government has lost at least N234million to the closure of tollgates since the commencement of the #EndSARS protests.
What they are saying
The President of LCCI said that 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 peaceful protests.
She urged President Muhammadu Buhari to 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.
Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr Muda Yusuf, said the protest is crippling businesses and economy, especially the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). He explained that the SMEs live by daily income and the continued disruption of their businesses may lead to huge loss of income and business growth.
Dr Muda Yusuf emphasized that the earlier the government engages the protesters, the better for the economy. He advised that the President should dialogue with the protesters for a quick resolution.
However, the former President, Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Okechukwu Unegbu, said whatever the economy loses will be temporary and could be gained if the expected reforms are instituted.
Unegbu said the level of economic activity, especially production, has been nosediving, and if the protests become successful, and policy recommendations are implemented, foreign investors will flood Nigeria with their capital.
ICPC Chairman reveals #EndSARS protests was financed with cryptocurrency
ICPC Chairman has revealed to the Nigerian Senate that the #EndSARS protest was largely funded with cryptocurrency.
The Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Commission (ICPC), Bolaji Owasanoye has revealed to the Nigerian Senate that the #EndSARS protest was largely funded with cryptocurrency.
This is as he said there are strong indications that it could be used to fund Insurgency in the country.
According to a report from Vanguard, this disclosure was made by the ICPC Chairman, during an interactive session with Senate Joint Committee on Banking, ICT, Cybercrime and Capital Market led by Senator Uba Sani on Tuesday, February 23, 2021.
The Joint committee was mandated to look at the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ban Cryptocurrency in Nigeria.
The ICPC boss while supporting the position of the CBN, said that the nature of operations of Cryptocurrency exposes it to money laundering and terrorism financing.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has said that the agency averted a $3million fraud linked to 20 bank accounts.
Owasanoye further explained that the anti-graft agency currently has a number of cases linked to Cryptocurrency but is unable to track the suspects.
He brought the attention of the Senate to a period in 2018 when a number of globally rated financial institutions said their financial statements had been hacked with the perpetrators asking to be paid in Cryptocurrencies.
ICPC Chairman noted that the CBN as a regulator has the responsibility to ensure sound financial stability and it will be difficult to achieve in the case of Cryptocurrencies where the players are anonymous.
While sharing the experience of the Indian Supreme Court and how it ruled and admitted that it does not know what it is, he urged the Lawmakers to as a matter of urgency, take decisive action against Cryptocurrencies.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that the CBN had directed the financial institutions to immediately close the accounts of such persons or entities transacting in or operating cryptocurrency exchanges, warning of severe regulatory sanctions in the event of any breach of the directive.
- The apex bank warned the Deposit Money Banks, Non-Financial Institutions and other Financial Institutions against doing business in crypto and other digital assets.
- The latest directive is coming after the CBN had in 2018 stated that cryptocurrencies are not legal tender and as such are illegal.
#OccupyLekkiTollGate: Lagos Attorney-General explains large police presence at Lekki toll gate
Lagos Attorney-General has stated that the State does not support the abuse of peaceful protesters.
The Lagos State Attorney-General, Moyosore Onigbanjo says that the reason for large numbers of policemen at the Lekki toll gate during Saturday’s protest was to prevent the protest from getting hijacked by hoodlums.
The Attorney-General of the State disclosed this in an interview with Channels TV on Sunday evening.
“Our duty is to face the dictate of the law.
“The state does not derive any joy from seeing people brutalized, but we must ensure that we have a society where law and order prevails and where everyone is free and secure to go about their businesses.
“Your right to protests only extends to where the other person’s freedom of association starts,” Onigbanjo said.
He added that the State Government wanted to prevent any problems during the protests, citing Covid-19 regulations preventing the mass gathering of people and hoodlums hijacking the protests.
“I believe that was the desire of the state government yesterday that people can protests, but think about the Covid-19 regulations, the existing laws.
“We cannot afford the sort of vandalism we saw before, the state was genuinely apprehensive that hoodlums might take over a peaceful protest, we have seen this before. And that was why the police came out in large numbers that this did not degenerate the last time,” he added.
What you should know
Nairametrics reported over the weekend that Officers of the Nigerian Police Force arrested #OccupyLekkiTollGate protesters at the Lekki toll gate on Saturday morning.
This was confirmed by multiple media images and videos on social media, showing the protesters being arrested and loaded inside police trucks and van, popularly known as Black Maria.
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