Following the recent looting and burning of several shops and stores at the Circle Mall in Lekki by hoodlums after the hijack of the EndSARS protests, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has promised to assist the tenants and shop owners at the mall to bounce back to business.
Speaking on Sunday during a condolence visit and meeting with tenants and shop owners at the Mall in Lekki, Sanwo-Olu said Lagos State Government would give tax break and some financial assistance to all the business owners affected by the ugly incident.
Some hoodlums had gone on a rampage on Wednesday, October 21, looting property worth billions of naira at the Circle Mall and also setting parts of the building ablaze.
Speaking on his administration’s readiness to assist those affected by the destruction in Circle Mall, Lekki, Sanwo-Olu said Lagos State Government would not leave the people to bear the pains alone, noting that government would assist them to return to their respective businesses.
The governor said the Lagos State Government would give all business owners in the burnt Circle Mall a PAYE tax break and also appealed to the Federal Government to ensure that they get tax relief from the Federal Internal Revenue Service (FIRS).
Sanwo-Olu said the state government would give victims of the Circle Mall financial support, which will be in the form of grant or loans to cushion the effect of the looting and destruction of their respective shops and stores.
Sanwo-Olu said the grant support would be non-refundable financial support to the victims. He said the affected businesses were not expected to pay back while the lending support would be in form of a loan, adding that he was already discussing with some financial institutions to assist people with zero interest. loans.
Sanwo-Olu also asked the shop owners to reach out to the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) and urged them to make use of the opportunities being provided by the agency in assisting people who are in business, especially small scale businesses.
Reiterating his administration’s commitment to securing lives and properties in the state, Sanwo-Olu said that Lagos State would no longer tolerate hoodlums looting and destroying government and private businesses and properties.
He said though Lagos State Government could not stop people from coming into the state, he warned people with criminal intentions to go elsewhere before being smoked out by the government.
The governor said his government was ready to encourage people who were in Lagos for business and would go the extra mile to protect businesses in the state.
Speaking earlier, the tenants at Circle Mall thanked Governor Sanwo-Olu for showing empathy in the face of daunting challenges. They asked him to assist them financially so as to get back on their feet.
They also appealed to the Lagos State Government to strengthen the security around the Circle Mall to prevent future occurrences of the two attacks they suffered in the last 13 months.