Nigeria’s stock market lost N113 billion (about $297 million) on Wednesday as investors’ appetite, which has been high for days became dampened due to the tense security situation in the country.
The market had remained stable since Monday with marginal gains following profit taking after weeks of a bull run.
However, investors reduced their demand for equities yesterday as they reacted to the prevailing security situation after some #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Tollgate, Lagos, were shot by soldiers on Tuesday.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index declined by 0.75 per cent from 28.665.82 to 28,449.49, while market capitalisation shed N113 billion from N14.983 trillion to N14.870 trillion.
Market operators said most investors were showing more concern about their safety first before thinking of investing.
According to a stockbroker, most people are monitoring the environment and watching how the government will handle the situation, rather than invest.
Also, the Nigerian Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has reiterated that the protests will negatively impact on the economy.
The Director-General of NECA, Mr. Timothy Olawale, told THISDAY that “protest is legal and a fundamentally guaranteed right of Nigerians to draw government’s attention to the need to take drastic action as regards reforms in all areas of our national life, it is important that the economy should not be brought to its knees in the process.”
He added: “The economy is in tatters, facing the threat of a second recession and unemployment rising to an unmanageable level, the need to stop the slide is not only urgent but important.
“A consequential effect of the hindered capacity of businesses to function is the higher unemployment rate, further reduction in disposable income of those left in employment, heightened insecurity with the risk of hoodlums hijacking the peaceful protest among others.”
He urged the government to take cogent and convincing steps in addressing the situation and restore peace.
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) had estimated that the protests had cost the economy over N700 billion (about $1.8bn in losses.
The President of LCCI, Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, had said the group was concerned about the negative impact of the development on business activities.
“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,” she had said.
Goddy Egene, Chris Uba