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CBN, others arrange intervention fund for EndSARS protest affected business owners

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

After a thorough assessment of losses suffered by private businesses during violence that trailed hijack of EndSARS protests across the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other stakeholders in the private sector have concluded plans to set up an intervention fund to assist affected investors and business owners rebuild their damaged facilities and re-stock.

The CBN and other stakeholders particularly members of Bankers’ Committee would also, be raising funds to rebuild 44 affected police stations to boost Nigerian Police personnel morale and strengthen security across the country.

Disclosing the plan on Monday, CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, stated that the unrest had impacted greatly on the national economy that was yet to overcome the coronavirus effect.

Emefiele disclosed the plan at an official inauguration of an eight-man team, led by the chairman of Citibank Nigeria, Yemi Cardoso, constituted a fortnight ago by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to coordinate the recovery effort, an event tagged “Consultative Forum on Rebuilding Lagos” held in Ikeja.

At the forum attended Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, represented by the group’s Executive Director, Dr. Mansur Ahmed, the CBN governor stressed that Lagos particularly must sustain the recovery effort to protect its economy from catastrophic consequences.

He stated the recovery blueprint would be unveiled next week to support all households and businesses affected by the EndSARS crisis.

Emefiele noted that the intervention would be delivered under an umbrella body of  Coalition Against Covid-19 (Ca-COVID) Alliance and to launch a five-year plan to generate millions of jobs for the youth.

He hinted that the a sub-committee of the body, Bankers’ Committee, had started to take stock of private businesses destroyed in the violence, pointing out that those with existing loan facilities and those with no loan will be supported to come back on their feet.

“I am pleased to note that the Ca-COVID Alliance will, over the next week, be unveiling a blueprint that will provide details of our planned support that positively affect households and businesses. This is in addition to measures that will create millions of jobs for our youths over the next five years. Many parts of the country were affected by the unrest, but Lagos remains the worst hit.

“The Ca-COVID Alliance is fully aware of the vital relationship between security and a prosperous economy. The damage done to police stations in different parts of the country can undermine the provision of adequate security, which is vital to households and businesses. The Ca-COVID Alliance is committed to the rebuilding and rehabilitation of all the 44 police stations destroyed in the unrest. More than half of the police stations are in Lagos; funds will be provided to rebuild these stations”.

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