Nigeria’s organised private sector lost assets and investment worth N5 trillion to the arson and looting, resulting from the tension and turbulence that followed the #EndSARS protests against police brutality in October, the Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) said on Tuesday.
NECA derived its findings through feelers from businesses of private ownership, battered by the countrywide wanton looting, Taiwo Adeniyi, the president of the private-sector think tank told newsmen, noting businesses were struggling to rise from the ruin at a time they also were facing headwinds from the coronavirus pandemic.
“While the Lagos State Government estimated a loss of about N5 trillion and Plateau State Government estimated over N700 billion, the total value of the economic loss to organised businesses nationwide could be in the region of over N5 trillion,” Adeniyi said.
“From looted machineries, consumables, livestock, raw-materials, pharmaceutical products, luxury goods and cash to actual and wicked vandalism and destruction of walls, smashed and mutilated doors, glasses, damaged critical electricity infrastructures, burnt buildings and properties and looted stocks. The list is endless.”
Adeniyi enjoined the Nigerian government publish details of its proposed incentivisation for businesses, citing the Lagos example where Governor Babajide Sanwoolu’s declaration of grants and tax holidays bolstered entrepreneurial confidence in government.
“While the additional window of penalty and interest waiver for businesses by the Federal Inland Revenue Services is commendable, what businesses really need at this critical period is substantial tax relief to enable them to stay afloat and also keep productive activities going.
“It is in our national interest to enable businesses to surmount the challenges of rising unemployment.”
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