…they lost over N1m each to looting—Report
As efforts are been made to reboot the economy after the #EndSARS protests, most traders and other small business that were looted by hoodlums who hijacked the protest have said that they won’t be able to return to normalcy unless they receive any form of intervention from government
Some to the traders spoken to in Abule Egba, Lagos said that their wares were looted and the shops set on fire by hoodlums. They said it will be difficult to return to business as they did not insure their businesses.
This came as a new report by SBM Intelligence, Nigeria’s geopolitical intelligence platform, said 43 per cent of small businesses in Lagos state lost over N1 million each to looting during the #EndSARS protests. It will be recalled that the peaceful protests against police brutality degenerated into vandalism and looting of malls, shops, private and public properties by hoodlums.
The report titled, “Protests and Business”, showed that 29 per cent of businesses surveyed lost between N500, 000 and N1 million; 14 per cent lost between N150, 000 and 500,000; 14 per cent lost less than N150, 000. SBM surveyed and interviewed 180 business owners in two locations in Lagos State: Oshodi, Isolo, and Lagos Mainland.
“We asked them how they viewed the protest and majority of the businesses including those that were affected and whose shops were looted and burgled said they support the protest, stating that it is a good cause (98 per cent),” the report read.
“An overwhelming majority of our respondents are very optimistic about the outcome of the protest, stating that it is a starting point for rebuilding the country. They believe that the youth are taking a stand on an important issue and the government should agree with all the demands that were made by the protesters.”
According to the report, Nigerians now feel the effects of looting as perishable food items such as vegetable, tomatoes, onions, are now scarce. The report recommended, among others, that businesses need to take insurance seriously, noting that the insurance sector should also be more innovative to attract customers.
It also suggested that the government should conduct proper investigation and ensure the perpetrators of such dastardly acts face the full wrath of the law. The report advised business owners to document losses suffered and seek financial assistance from the government.
“For the smaller businesses resident in Lagos, the Lagos state government has offered funds to help rebuild businesses through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF).
At the last count, more than 3,500 businesses have applied for relief funds, a sign of the scale of the damage across the state. Many state governments will likely have their own relief programs, though resources are tight.”