Monday, Nov 23rd 2020 6:42 PM
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Market Digest Nigeria

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We remained Neutral during #EndSARS protests – Nigeria Telcos

Telecoms firms at the weekend said their role during the #EndSARS protests that turned bloody was neutral.

It said it only provided access for everyone, including the protesters to reach their loved ones and the security operatives to do their jobs.

Acting under the aegis of Association of Licensed Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ALTON), the telcos, however, lamented the denial of access to facilities to do regular maintenence and fuelling of generators to keep the base transceiver stations (BTS) running.

Its Chairman,Gbenga Adebayo, in a telephone interview, commended the respect accorded the infrastructure by the rampaging youths, saying it’s a manifestation that telecoms infrastructure is a critical national infrastructure.

Speaking to the roles telecoms infrastructure played in the coordinated peaceful protests that were later hijacked by criminals and hoodlums who embarked wholesale premeditated arson and looting of public and private properties, the ALTON chief said the telcos played neutral role.

He said every segment of the society was provided services on neutral basis, adding that the infrastructure of the telecoms industry serves as a gate way for everyone.

Already, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has said Nigeria has lost more than N700 billion in economic value since the #EndSARS protests started.

In a statement by its  President, MrsToki Mabogunje explained that the peaceful protest had started to witnessing various unintended outcomes, despite its positive and noble objectives.

She emphasized that these unintended outcomes coming from the frustration of the youths, have been at great cost to the economy and this continues to create bottlenecks and disruptions to businesses and the economy in general.

The protest against police brutality has adversely affected the economy of states across the country, as protesters continue to mount blockades and barricades around major cities and interstate highways.

However, as the protests induced-disruption continue to pile up on the economy, economists and financial experts have made an estimate that businesses in the country lose at least N10 billion daily since the commencement of the #EndSARS protests.

It’s Director-General, Dr Muda Yusuf, said the protest is crippling businesses and economy, especially the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). He explained that the SMEs live by daily income and the continued disruption of their businesses may lead to huge loss of income and business growth

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