Nigeria’s stock market lost N113 billion (about $297 million) on Wednesday as investors’ appetite dwindled due to the agitated security situation in the country.

The market was stable since Monday with marginal gains following profit taking after weeks of a bull run.

However, investors reduced their demand for equities yesterday due to the tensed security situation after some #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Tollgate, Lagos, were shot by soldiers on Tuesday.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index declined by 0.75 per cent from 28.665.82 to 28,449.49, while market capitalisation shed N113 billion from N14.983 trillion to N14.870 trillion.

According to a stockbroker, most investors are watching how the government will handle the situation, rather than invest.

The Director-General of NECA, Mr. Timothy Olawale, already said that “protest is legal and a fundamentally guaranteed right of Nigerians to draw government’s attention to the need to take drastic action as regards reforms in all areas of our national life, it is important that the economy should not be brought to its knees in the process.”

“The economy is in tatters, facing the threat of a second recession and unemployment rising to an unmanageable level, the need to stop the slide is not only urgent but important.

“A consequential effect of the hindered capacity of businesses to function is the higher unemployment rate, further reduction in disposable income of those left in employment, heightened insecurity with the risk of hoodlums hijacking the peaceful protest among others,” he said

He also asked the government to take bold and convincing steps in addressing the situation and restore peace.

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) had estimated that the protests had cost the economy over N700 billion about $1.8bn in losses.

Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, the President of LCCI, had said the group was concerned about the negative impact of the security problems on business activities.

“These actions have been at great cost to the economy and the welfare of Nigerian citizens. It should be noted that our economy is still reeling from the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic and struggling to recover from its devastating effects,” she had said.