The Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has met with owners of businesses affected by plundering that occurred in the state on Friday, 23rd of October.
In a statement by the spokesperson to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, the Governor has assured them of government’s support to recover at the late Monday meeting.
The Governor urged them to register on the state website as advised earlier and that modalities are in place to ensure that only people with genuine cases benefit.
While explaining the reason behind the assistance, he stated that “ your sector is really important to this government. That is why we decided to engage you when we saw what happened to bring you back as quickly as possible.
On our part we have the modalities for what we want to do. That is why we asked you to go to the website and fill the form. We mentioned a number as the amount to assist you. It could be more than that. It may be lower than that. But that is the benchmark. When we look at the data you send in and your claims, we will decide who to give grant to and those we will give interest-free loan to.
We are also talking to one or two banks to make funds available for interest-free loans, with long term repayment plans.”
He also urged business owners to stand firm and be determined in the face of hardship that may occur as a result of the looting of their businesses.
However, he condemned the attempts of some people to politicise the incident that any political ambition they may have are achievable only in a stable and peaceful environment.
Commissioner for Communications, Harriet Afolabi-Oshatimehin, expressed sympathy that “The incident is of great concern to the government. Such habit is not known with our state, Kwara. The government will continue to engage the affected business owners of the appropriate method of securing the assistance of the state government,”
Former House of Representatives member, Moshood Mustapha and Alhaji Janni Ibrahim, a business tycoon, sympathized with the victims and announced a donation of 1m each for the victims. They both commended the act of the government in mitigating the loss of the business owners and implored the government to bring the looters to book.
Alhaji Lawal Ahmed, who spoke on behalf of the business owners appreciated the prompt reply of the Governor that the “Government’s intention to make funds available for them is a strategic move to restore their glory.” He also implored the Governor to include some of their members in the disbursement committee to ensure coordination and transparency.
It should be recalled that hoodlums were alleged to have looted private and public properties on Friday. So far, 144 suspects are reported to have been arrested for the looting. The state government had earlier announced N500m recovery funds to assist businesses affected in the incident.