Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, declared in Ikeja on Tuesday that the October #EndSARS protests devastated the Lagos State economy. Obasa made this known when Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu presented the state’s 2021 budget to the Assembly.
Lagos State plans to spend N1,155,022,413,005 in the 2021 budget entitled: “Budget Of Rekindled Hope’’. The Speaker said that the devastating effects of the disruptions that followed the #EndSARS protests in Lagos 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.
“Also the replacement cost to Lagos State government, which is the worst-hit by the protest is put at N1 trillion. The overall cost to private businesses has been put at several billions of dollars,’’ he said. Obasa added that it was evident that the role the social media played in the protest could not be overlooked.
The Speaker said the Assembly would continue to support freedom of expression, willingness to interact with everyone, be it youths, elderly and all categories of people as government. Obasa said there was the need for them to be wary of those who used social media as a weapon of destruction, intimidation, assault and violation of the rights of others.
He said: “when social media is employed in a ruthless manner that causes disharmony, disaffection, and disintegration among families, 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 police operatives; those whose businesses were destroyed, Lagos City Hall, Lagos Judiciary, the TVC, all petty traders and affected banks and the residents of our dear state, I identify with you all at this trying period.’’
Obasa also lamented the negative impact the Covid-19 pandemic had on budget implementation in the state in 2020 as well as the loss of many lives including those of prominent politicians.