17th October, 2021
An economist, Mr. Muda Yusuf, said many investors and state governments were yet to recover from the destruction of public facilities and businesses during the #EndSARS protest in October 2020.
Yusuf said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos ahead of the anniversary of the protests which rocked the nation over alleged police brutality.
The former director-general of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the economic implication of the protest was enormous due to the wanton destruction of public and private property after it was allegedly hijacked by hoodlums.
He said: “There was a lot of destruction of public and private property and these cost a lot of money. We are talking of hundreds of millions of naira.
“As I speak to you, many of the private sector investors that were affected are yet to recover from the shock and the setback caused by the destruction.
“There were also a lot of public property that were destroyed which also cost billions of naira.
“Many of the governments affected have not been able to fix those properties because they don’t have the finance. So from the destruction point of view, I think a lot was lost.”
Yusuf, who is the Chief Executive Officer, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, said during the #EndSARS protests, the economy was brought to a standstill.
“Practically nothing was happening and that was a huge loss to the economy and all its layers.
“Then there was also the impact on the security apparatus in the country because no country can exist without effective security,” he said.
He stated that the protests affected police stations and correctional facilities, which heightened insecurity in the country.
He noted that the way forward was for government at all levels to strengthen engagements with citizens.
Yusuf said: “These were complaints that had been on for a number of years and because these complaints were not addressed, it eventually led to an implosion.
“When people have grievances and those grievances are not addressed promptly, it leads to an accumulation of anger, and any little trigger can cause chaos.
“So the government needs better engagement with the citizens so that things will not get to the level that it will degenerate to violence and protests.”