Aftermath of massive devastations perpetrated by hoodlums during November 2020 #EndSARS protests put at over N1 trillion, Lagos State Government says it is picking the bits and pieces and mustering resources towards rebuilding the state.
According to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the state needs more support from both public and private sectors as well as the Federal Government to complete the rebuilding of destroyed public properties.
“Some businesses that were affected, somebody having their shops looted or burnt or something. We have been able to directly begin to support such businesses, especially on a micro, small level using the Lagos state Employment Trust Fund.
They have started intervening and supporting some of these small businesses, giving them grants, giving them soft loans and making sure that they can come back together very quickly.
“The bigger larger items around infrastructure, around transportation, they will take a fairly longer time. We are talking about a period that is still under three months.
So, it is still a working document that we are doing right now and we also have to be very creative in how we raise the finance. We didn’t have money anywhere; you know it was towards the end of a financial year and we are just starting another year.
“It is work in progress. To take something down it takes one day, to rebuild it take 10 years. It is a journey, not a destination. And so it is going to take a while,’’ Sanwo-Olu told State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“We are carefully taking a proper study to know what we need to do, taking our time to get it right but we have started something.’’
The governor said making budgetary provisions for the rebuilding would require huge funds and support from the private and public sectors.
“But we have them all focused and will be tackling them. But the low hanging ones, like I said, are the small businesses that we have started supporting so that people can get back to life very quickly,” Persecondnews quotes Sanwo-Olu as saying.
On the second wave of Coronavirus, the governor urged Nigerians to take full personal responsibility for their lives, disclosing that the state government was currently building oxygen tents and plants to reduce casualties among the people.
“Two things that we are doing now is communication and we are taking it to the grassroots to let people know that they need to take full responsibility and know that even for their loved ones they need to be real with themselves and know that COVID-19 is real is with us and is not just something playing in their heads.
“On COVID-19, it is actually a very serious case. We have all said it, we are in the second wave and incidentally. The second wave seems to be a bit more infectious than the first one; I mean the rate of infection and the number of people that we have seen.
“We still remain the epicentre, so what we have done is we never stopped building capacity. We have seen, unfortunately, the fatality rate around the country even in Lagos. One of the things we have realized is that a lot more people require oxygen attention; they need additional breathing aid.
“We have commissioned about four or five of them and we are also building proper oxygen plants.’’