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#EndSARS Protests: Nigeria Loses N700 Billion During Demonstrations – LCCI

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The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), says the Nigerian economy could have lost an estimated N700 billion to the #EndSARS protests in the last 12 days. The protest originated about two weeks ago on the issue of police brutality and extrajudicial killings. It has grown into a social crusade against bad governance.

A statement from the President of LCCI, Toki Mabogunje, states on the negative impact of the #EndSARS demonstrations on business activities across the country.

The statement is titled, ‘LCCI press release on the economic implications of EndSARS protest’.

It further explained that “The LCCI appreciates the value of citizens’ engagement and the demand for accountability which the EndSARS protest essentially represents.

“These are in consonance with democratic norms. They also form vital ingredients for good governance.

“Over the past twelve days, economic activities have been crippled in most parts of the country and has been particularly profound in the urban areas.

“The Nigerian economy has suffered an estimated Seven Hundred Billion Naira (₦700 billion) loss in the past twelve days,” Mabogunje adds.

She noted that the #EndSARS demonstrations had been impactful and profound, adding that it had the power of the people and the potency of the energy of the youth to bring about change.

According to the LCCI president, the protests have achieved some significant outcomes and has reawakened the need to reform the shortcomings in Nigeria’s political governance.

She recommended that the protesters dialogue with the government.

This, according to Mobogunje, is necessary to reduce the massive disruptions, blockades and barricades around our major cities and interstate highways.

Mobogunje urged the government to commit to rapid improvement in governance quality and accountability in the police and public sector. And urgently grant audience to the leadership of the #EndSARS to deliberate on the way forward and to agree on an action plan for the delivery of agreed outcomes.

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Ethiopia Plans Sale of 45% Telecoms Monopoly Ethio Telecom

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Ethiopia plans to sell a 45% stake in its Ethio Telecom monopoly, an adviser to the state minister of finance said, as the government pursues the liberalisation of the sector despite an armed conflict in the north of the country.

Ethiopia’s telecoms industry is considered the big prize in a push to liberalise the African country’s economy because of a huge protected market, which serves around 100 million people.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is attempting to energise underperforming state-run sectors with reforms.

According to a Reuters report, the Ethiopia’s government expects the sale to take nine months, while it will also issue tenders for two new operating licences in December, a process which is expected to take three to four months

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India Arrests Nigerians, Others With N1.4Bn Cocaine In 10 Days

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Indian authorities have arrested several Africans, including Nigerians, and seized cocaine worth 27 crore (about N1.4bn) in the last 10 days.

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence in India says, four persons, including two Nigerians, were arrested as part of the confiscation with 502gm of the narcotic.

However, the biggest seizure at the Mumbai airport was the 3kg of cocaine retrieved from a Guinean, Musa Kamara, on Tuesday afternoon.

The 18 crore (68.61bn) confiscation by DRI is the largest at the Mumbai airport in 2020, the report says.

The officials noted that the Guinean was recruited to be a drug carrier by the member of a racket, who took advantage of his need for money and medical attention to conceal drugs in his luggage.

“It becomes easy for drug rackets to use people looking for medical tourism as the chances of them getting caught are lesser because of their genuine medical history,” an officer from DRI said.

Aside from the Nigerians and the Guinean, a Malawian was cut carrying cocaine worth 6 crore (N22.87bn) through a similar route used by Kamara.

The report notes that the rackets, who use Nigerians and other vulnerable Africans for the illicit trade, are operated chiefly by Colombians and other South Americans.

According to a senior police officer in India’s commercial hub, most cocaine peddlers and smugglers, who have been arrested in Mumbai by anti-drug agencies, belong to African countries, especially Nigeria which is known to be a key transit point for Colombian drug cartels.

Officials say drug traffickers have changed their mode of disguising their contraband substances.

Before now, carriers would conceal the drugs in their body. Cartels are now hiding substances in cavities made in bags or trolleys, the report noted.

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Ethiopia Accuses Tigray Of Killing 600 People In Massacre

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Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has said investigations from the incident at Mai Kadra on the 9th of November showed that some Tigrayan youths killed 600 civilians.

The EHRC who are appointed by the state said the killings had ethnic leanings.

In its preliminary report, it said youths from Tigray, aided by the Police and local officials carried out door-to-door” raids, killing hundreds they identified as ethnic “Amharas and Wolkait.”

The EHRC describes itself as an “independent national” institution. It accused the TPLF alongside local Tigrayan militia and police security, of committing crimes against humanity, before they went back to their shell on the advance of Ethiopian forces.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has not shifted base since the battle started. On Monday, he gave the TPLF a 72-hour ultimatum which has now expired as the Tigray officials stay rooted to their desires too.

Both forces have had daggers drawn since the 4th of November over issues that seem to have ethnic and political colouration.

Not less than 41,000 Ethiopian nationals have fled to neighbouring Sudan for safety as the conflict keeps intensifying.

On Wednesday, African Union envoys arrived Ethiopia, with Ahmed warning against international interference.

He has refused to dialogue with the TPLF and has warned Tigrayan civilians to persuade their leadership.

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