The Organised Private Sector, OPS, has appealed to the Federal Government, state governments and commercial banks to lend support to businesses that have been plundered, looted or vandalised across the country in the wake of the hijack of the #End SARS protests by hoodlums.
Specifically, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce Industry, LCCI, and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, have stressed that the hoodlums’ attacks on properties and livelihood had a serious economic impact on the country.
While calling on the Federal Government to provide support in the form of grants to all the victims of the recent crisis, the President, LCCI, Toki Mabogunje, in a statement on Monday, said the families of all those who lost their loved ones should also be adequately compensated.
She called on the Federal Government to support Lagos State in the rebuilding of the assets that were destroyed by the hoodlums who hijacked the peaceful protests against police brutality.
According to Mabogunje, this has become necessary in view of the current challenging economic conditions that the state is already grappling with.
While empathising with the families of all those who have lost loved ones, the Lagos State Government, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, as well as micro, small, medium and large enterprises that suffered losses, the LCCI president said, “We share the pain of all investors: micro, small, medium and large that suffered losses as a result of the arson, looting and the destruction of their valuable fixed and moveable assets.”
“We share the grave concern of employees who are at the risk of losing their jobs as a result of these deplorable and debilitating incidents.”
She appealed to all stakeholders to embrace peace, dialogue and engagement in order to maintain a conducive environment for investments and the prosperity of businesses.
She added, “We need to embed in the governance process the norms and ideals of the democratic process: rule of law, transparency and accountability in political governance, and citizen engagement, among others.”
Also, the acting Director-General, MAN, Ambrose Oruche, said the association received reports that few of its members had been affected by the nationwide looting and destruction.
While acknowledging that some banks had created a special fund to support victims of the attacks, he said more commercial banks should create a trust fund to support individuals and businesses that were trying to rebuild their lives.
Oruche said, “No doubt, the economy has been impacted by this ugly incident of looting and arson of public and private businesses.
“Some banks have come up with some palliatives like Access Bank that gave out interest-free facilities and the Lagos State government came up with palliatives for businesses.”
He added, “I want to appeal to other commercial banks to assist those who have lost valuables to this incident to rebuild their lives, especially businesses that have lost a lot of resources.
“We want the government to set up a trust fund for people whowere affected, for them to recover and continue to create employment.”
Oruche urged the government to address the issue of national security holistically, advising the police to adopt the use of modern technologies in the investigations and protection of lives and properties.
He also advised the government to consider the introduction of community policing where necessary.