Oct 20, 2020

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) wishes to express its condolences to the families of all who have lost their lives through the brutal actions of the police and all those who have suffered in one way or the other the cruel and unjust acts of the police especially the officers of SARS.  The LCCI appreciates the value of citizens’ engagement and the demand for accountability which the EndSARS protest essentially represents.  These are in consonance with democratic norms.  They also form vital ingredients for good governance.

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry is however concerned about the negative impact that the protracted nature of the EndSars protests has on business activities across the country. Over the past twelve days, economic activities have been crippled in most parts of the country and has been particularly profound in the urban areas.  The Nigerian economy has suffered an estimated Seven Hundred Billion Naira [₦700 billion] loss in the past twelve days.

The #EndSARS protest has been impactful and profound.  It has demonstrated in unmistakable 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.

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry whose mandate is to be the voice of business and protect the livelihoods of all those in the business community wishes to recommend that the protesters progress to the next stage of civic engagement, which is the DIALOGUE phase of this struggle.  This is necessary to reduce the massive disruptions, blockades and barricades around our 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.

We have begun to witness various unintended outcomes of this protest. 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 LCCI therefore propose as follows:

  1. That President Muhammadu Buhari should 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.
  2. 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
  • The Leadership of the #EndSars should occupy the seats provided to participate in the reforms to be implemented by the government in response to their demands.