“There is a strong nexus between political instability and economic progress. An unstable political environment naturally escalates the risk of investment; it creates anxiety and undermines confidence of investors.”
Babatunde Paul Ruwase, President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) made this appeal today while briefing local media on the state of the nation and the economy.
“The country is building up to general elections scheduled for the first quarter of 2019, with the presidential election coming up on February 16, 2019,” said Ruwase.
He said that although LCCI is a non-partisan and an apolitical organisation, yet “As a leading policy advocacy institution, we have a responsibility to comment on these issues, highlight our concerns and make recommendations where necessary.
“This is another defining period in our democratic history. We note that the political transition and electoral process in the country has far reaching implications for the economy. “This is because political and social stability are critical factors that drive investors’ confidence. Thus, it is important to guide against the tendencies that may undermine the credibility of the electoral process.
“The risks associated with this period includes security risks, governance and policy risks and risk to existing contractual obligations.
“We urge the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and the judiciary to be independent and fair to all parties. It is important to guide against the tendencies that distract state institutions from governance.
CONDUCT OF THE POLITICAL CLASS
“We urge all political actors to demonstrate restraint and refrain from activities that could undermine the stability of the polity and create avoidable social tension.
“This has become very important as political and electioneering activities gather momentum. No meaningful investment can take place where there is break down of law and order.
“We urge the political parties, their candidates, support groups and other stakeholders to play by the rules in order to ensure the integrity of the forthcoming general elections.
“The quality of the electoral process and the conduct of the major players in the political space are critical to earn the confidence of the citizens, the investors, the stakeholders and international community in the electoral process.”