The United Action For Change, UAC , a non-for- profit organization playing a pivotal role in birthing a new socio-political order in Nigeria has issued a stern warning to Lagos State Government not to politicize its MSME Recovery Fund for businesses owners whose stores were looted by the so-called hoodlums during the #EndSARS imbroglio.
These funds should not be largesse for politicians and their cronies as this would further worsen the trust deficit between the government and its people. Everything should be conducted in a transparent and accountable manner to ameliorate the pains of those who are hurting, the group admonished.
The Statement adds, “We therefore call on the government to set up a credible independent body cutting across various sectors to manage the screening and disbursement of funds to affected businesses, devoid of government influence”. If not out of place, we suggest representative of the market women, journalists union, the Nigerian Bar Association, the Nigeria Medical Association, the Nigeria Labour Congress and two representatives of the Youths.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Wednesday by the Group Acting National Publicity Secretary, Enitan Olukotun and its Secretary General, Michael Popoola Ajayi, UAC commiserates with state government and the people of the state who lost loved ones and properties to rampaging ‘hoodlums ‘who unleashed terror on the people, their businesses and public assets.
The group also commended the Lagos Command of Nigerian Police Force for the professionalism exhibited this time around.
“It is disheartening to know that whilst most of the government’s assets were insured , many small business owners don’t have any insurance cover. Consequently , the real loss actually tilts in favour of the Private entrepreneurs.
“We also demand that more awareness should be created on the fund. Social media especially Twitter is not the most effective medium to reach out to the affected people, particularly market women. Publicity should run in local languages on radio and television so that none of the affected businesses will be left out.
“UAC also objected to Friday 30th October, 2020 deadline for application. The deadline should be extended at least by a week to allow distraught business owners to avail themselves of this opportunity”. .