The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has expressed concern about the negative impact of the elections postponement on businesses and investors’ confidence.
The LCCI, in a statement said investors needed to have an idea of the direction of the country’s political and economic governance in order to manage policy and political risks of investments.
The President, LCCI, Mr. Remi Bello, said, “Political transition periods were typically characterised by profound anxiety and uncertainty. Prolonging these conditions has adverse impact on the confidence of investors.
He said major investment decisions were difficult to take at times like these, adding that the tempo of economic activities had expectedly decelerated as a result of the impending elections.
“Therefore, the quicker these conditions are dispensed with, the better for investors. This is a major impact point of the election postponement – a prolongation of the suspense,” he said.
According to the LCCI, the circumstances and sequence of events leading up to postponement are prone to suspicion and could undermine the credibility of the electoral process.
It said the credibility of the electoral process was critical to the sustenance of political and social stability as well as economic progress of the country.
“The process needs to be managed in a way that would inspire the confidence of all stakeholders. Business cannot take place in an environment that is socially and politically unstable. This is another reason for investors to worry about current developments.
Highlighting the micro-level impacts of the postponement on businesses, the group said, “The postponement has disrupted many plans, programmes, meetings, academic calendar, conferences, and important business decisions; locally and internationally. Rescheduling of these activities and the attendant dislocations will come at a cost to investors and citizens alike.”
The LCCI noted that the postponement would put additional pressure on the campaign budgets of the political parties and the candidates for the various elective positions, adding that there would be additional funding requirements to sustain the tempo of mobilisation and service the campaign apparatus of the parties and the candidates.
“This will take its toll on the finances of the candidates and the political parties. This however may be good news for the beneficiaries of such campaign spending – media houses, logistics providers, printers of posters and banners, billboard providers, PR and Advert Agencies etc. The momentum of spending will have to be sustained for another six weeks,” it said.
By Yemisi Izuora