When in 1789 King Loius XVI asked his trusted aide about the crowd of protesters storming the Bastille prison “is this a revolt?” Francois Alexandre replied saying “No sir, it is not a revolt, it is a revolution”. His wife, Queen Maria Antionette, had earlier said if the crowd could not afford bread, they should buy cake.
It is in this context that we should look at the recent EndSARS protests as a wake-up call for structural economic change and pressing the reset button for economic reform. Some have erroneously diagnosed the protests as symptoms of an ethnic conflict whilst it is fundamentally a class struggle of young people who have lost any hope of prosperity.
The Nigerian masses have been afflicted with rational ignorance which has mutated into rational irrationality. The riots may erupt again if nothing is done to address poverty, debt and low productivity. New investment is necessary and urgently needed to keep hope alive. Based on anecdotal and momentum analysis, our model is projecting an estimated total informal and formal economic loss of approximately $15bn in 2-3 weeks of mayhem.
Many traders and stores do not have insurance against civil unrest and commotion. Christmas is fast approaching and they cannot find forex to replace lost inventory. This is in addition to the climbing COVID infection rate.
These and other imponderables including the tenterhooks of an undecided US election are among the issues discussed at this month’s edition of the LBS breakfast session as well as its impact on your budget and strategy for 2021.
Enjoy your read.