Fuel subsidy removal protesters
By Raheem Akingbolu
The recent nationwide strike led by the Nigeria Labour Congress and the civil society family might have come and gone, but business owners and consumers would for a long time live with its bruises, an expert has declared.
Speaking with THISDAY on effects of the recent protest on the nation’s economy, the Chief Executive Officer of Adenekan & Associates, a marketing management consulting firm, Mr. Suleiman Adenekan, said the protest may make international investors and business owners lose confidence in the Nigerian market.
Adenekan, who faulted the deployment of soldiers in Lagos, said; “All over the world, protest has always been a tool in the hands of citizens to press for demands, when necessary. On this note, one cannot condemn the recent one in Nigeria but the deployment of soldiers to Lagos on the final day was absurd and a minus for both the government and the business community.
“As a commercial nerve centre of the country, all eyes are on Lagos and as a result of this, government at all levels require to guide it very jealously in order not to send bad signals to international community.
“Soldiers are deplored in areas that are security threatened or are in red alert as we had in Bornu State when the Boko Haram people were daily killing people but not in a place where there was no sign of breaking down of law and order,” he added.
Speaking further, he admitted that it might not be easy to quantify what Nigeria might have lost as a result of the crisis. He, however, called on government to begin protecting other sectors of the economy instead of using over-dependence on oil to affect other businesses.
Meanwhile, the Vice President of the Public Relations Consultant Association of Nigeria (PRCAN), Mr. Chido Nwakanma, has predicted that the impasse on fuel price between Nigerians and the Federal Government would bring about higher costs of production and price, which would spur consumer resistance due to lowered disposable incomes.
In a statement, he said for manufacturers to weather the storm and bond well with their patrons despite the crisis, they (the business owners) should improve on strategy, innovation, quality and building of relationships.