#EndSARS violence has devastated Lagos economy ― Speaker Obasa
Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa has reiterated that the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests across the country has devastated the economy of the state.
Obasa in his speech during the presentation of the 2021 budget by Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu titled; “Budget Of Rekindled Hope” estimated at N1,155,022,413,005 in the Assembly premises on Tuesday 10th November, stated that the devastating effects of the disruptions that followed the #EndSARS protests, in the state particularly, were beyond imaginations.
“The anarchy, burning, and looting of businesses have hit the economy with a blow beneath the belt.
“At the backdrop of the destruction of public and private properties and businesses in the wake of the #EndSARS protests, businesses have been counting their losses while economy experts have listed the immediate challenges the crises will throw-up against Nigeria’s struggling economy.
“Also, the replacement cost to Lagos State Government, which is the worst hit by the crises, is put at N1 trillion. More so, the overall cost to the private businesses has been put at several billions of US Dollars,” he said.
Obasa added that it was evident that the role social media played in all of these could not be overlooked.
According to him, “while we continue to support freedom of expression, willingness to interact with everyone be it youths, elderly and all categories of people as government, there is the need for us to be wary of those who use social media as a weapon of destruction, intimidations, assault and violation of the rights of others.
“When social media is employed in a ruthless manner such that causes disharmony, disaffection, and disintegration among family, friends and ethnic groups, it can no longer be considered to be beneficial to the society as a whole.
“For those who lost their lives and property, particularly the gallant Nigerian police, those whose businesses were destroyed, City Hall, Lagos judiciary, the TVC family, all the petty traders and affected banks and the residents of our dear state, I identify with you all at this trying period.”
The Speaker stated that just like last year, the Governor was in the Assembly to make a formal presentation of the Y2020 budget, but that it was unknown to everyone that a major crisis that would rock the entire world in the name of Coronavirus was in the offing.
He said that COVID-19 really hit the state bad as a people and that the state recorded many sad deaths in the hand of the deadly virus including those of Hon Tunde Braimoh and Senator Bayo Osinowo, who were members of the Assembly.
“At the same time, all sorts of events have happened in the year 2020 that will take time and resilience to address.
“These events have deepened the projected economic contraction this year, causing disruptions in the supply chain, and a faster rise in inflation. As we have heard Mr Governor, the major focus of the Y2021 budget will be to address some of the challenges posed by these unprecedented events.
“You will agree with me that the effects of COVID-19 on the world economy cannot be over-emphasised. Right now, many people have been made unemployed by COVID-19. Some companies are still counting their losses.
“We were still grappling with the resultant effects of COVID-19 when the #EndSARS protests gritted us. Even though the protesters had good intentions to make their grievances known as regards police brutality in the country, it is sad to note that the action, in the long run, turned sour as some unpatriotic elements not only hijacked the situation but also saw it as an avenue to unleash mayhem,” he said.