By Audrey Lotechukwu
TUE, 20 OCT, 2020-theGBJournal-The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) whose mandate is to be the voice of business and protect the livelihoods of all those in the business community has recommended that the EndSars protesters progress to the next stage of civic engagement, which is the DIALOGUE phase of this struggle.
LCCI, in a statement Monday signed by the President, MRS TOKI MABOGUNJE said, ‘’this is necessary to reduce the massive disruptions, blockades and barricades around 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,’’ the Chamber said.
The LCCI also expressed concerned about the negative impact the EndSars protests has on business activities across the country. It estimates that the Nigerian economy has suffered an estimated ₦700 billion loss in the past twelve days.
According to the LCCI: ‘’The 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 youth to bring about change. The protest has achieved some significant outcomes 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.’’
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.’’
The Chamber recommends that President Muhammadu Buhari 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.
It also recommends that the government should 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.
It urged the Leadership of the #EndSars to occupy the seats provided to participate in the reforms to be implemented by government in response to their demands.