Hard times await businesses not insured after the mayhem that followed the #EndSARS protests across the country, especially in Lagos, the epicenter of the protests.
The mayhem was triggered after witnesses and rights groups said soldiers opened fire on a crowd of peaceful protesters defying a curfew at Lekki toll gate, where Amnesty International alleged that at least 12 protesters were killed.
At the last count, three banks in Lagos Island, Shoprite in Ajah and shops/malls in the area were looted, Lagos Oriental Hotel damaged while the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and Vehicle Inspection Service offices in Ojodu Berger area and the palace of Oba of Lagos were attacked.
Hoodlums also attacked Igbosere High Court, Lagos, stealing computers, printers, case files, fans, air conditioners and other items. TVC, a television station, and The Nation newspaper offices were torched.
Several buses of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme plying Oyingbo, Yaba & Berger routes were either burnt or damaged.
According to the Director General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr. Muda Yusuf, the scale of the looting and destruction is unprecedented in the country’s recent history.
“The cost would likely run into hundreds of millions which would worsen the insurance company’s operating loss ratio and cut 2020 profitability. There has to be a way to help businesses that were adversely affected by the vandalism during the riots.
Also reacting on the implication for insurance companies, Waheed Alabede, a New York – based economist, risk & data analyst, said, “The total long term loss to Nigeria’s economy will top N1.5 trillion in direct and indirect losses now and in the next couple of years even if normalcy returns.
“Conservative estimate of direct losses of Wednesday alone is currently over N60 billion when replacement cost, loss of use, and other costs are factored in. “The challenge going forward is in the long term impact on the economy.
“On the economic front, and coupled with downturn caused by COVID-19, it will take over eight years for Nigeria, and especially Lagos, to recover from the loss of confidence among investors occasioned by the attacks on private and public properties.