Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State, has met with owners of businesses affected in last Friday’s wanton looting of public and private properties in Ilorin, the state capital.
In a statement by his spokesman, Rafiu Ajakaye in Ilorin, the governor assured them at the meeting late Monday of government’s support to get them back on stream. He, however, urged them to register on the state government’s website as earlier advised.
Governor Abdulrazaq said, modalities were in place to ensure that only people with genuine cases benefit from the N500m recovery fund by the government to the businesses who suffered losses during the wanton looting and destruction of properties under the guise of End SARS in the state capital.
“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,” he stated, adding that ” Small and medium scale businesses are key to economic development.”
Governor Abdulrazaq said modalities have been set for what the government wants to do, hence, the advice to the businesses to go to the government’s 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,” he declared.
He said “We are also talking to one or two banks to make funds available for interest free loans, with long term repayment plans.”
Governor Abdulrazaq condemned attempts to politicise the looting incident from some quarters, saying “Whatever political ambitions anyone may have, are achievable only in a stable and peaceful environment.’
Also speaking at the meeting, Commissioner for Communications, Harriet Afolabi Oshatimehin, sympathised with the business owners, assuring them of government’s support to get back to business.
She said “The incident is of great concern to the government” adding ” Such a habit is not known with our state, Kwara.”
The meeting was also attended by former House of Representatives member, Moshood Mustapha and business tycoon, Alhaji Jani Ibrahim, who condemned the criminal act of the hoodlums, sympathised with the victims and announced a donation of one million naira for each of the victims.
Speaking on behalf of the business owners, Ahmed Lawal Ahmed, appreciated the governor’s prompt intervention, saying the government’s intention to make funds available for them Is a strategic move to restore their glory.”
He, however, asked the government to include some of their members in the disbursement committee to ensure coordination and transparency.
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