The Kwara State Small Medium and Enterprise, SME Recovery Committee has concluded an on-the-spot evaluation of business owners affected by the #Endsars protests of 23rd, October 2020.
Speaking with the business owners, the State Deputy Governor and Chairman of the Committee, Mr Kayode Alabi explained that the exercise became imperative to physically verify claims by business owners whose shops were looted and vandalised during the protest.
Represented by the Secretary of the Committee, Mr Mohammed Brimah, the Deputy Governor noted that the committee was divided into sub-committees and that the Fact-finding and Evaluation sub-committees has been working with a professional Insurance loss adjuster to determine the loses suffered by business owners.
“Although it is a support coming from the government and not from the insurance company, and we understand the pains and emotional imbalance the affected business owners have gone through, but we have to be professional about it”.
Mr Alabi added that the Committee had earlier collated information submitted by business owners online, processed them through phone calls for reassessment before the physical verification to help the government determine the kind of support to be given to the business owners.
The Deputy Governor assured that the committee would conclude the assignment soon and make its recommendations for the government. He expressed confidence that business owners would get the government’s support before the end of the year.
Mr Alabi also clarified that the choice of a Lagos-based Loss Adjuster by the Committee was to ensure that the exercise was unbiased.
“The reason why we are using an out-of-town loss adjuster was that it has no link or connection with any of the affected business owners and thus would have no emotion or sentiment attached to the exercise, but if we had engaged an adjuster within the town, it could be under pressure from family and relations of the affected persons”.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of Aural Trust Loss Adjuster, Mr Gbenga Orekoya, said that the government engaged his firm to determine if the claims by the affected business owners are reasonable or otherwise.
Mr Orekoya noted that during the evaluation and interaction with the affected business owners, a couple of their claims were found to be genuine while others were questionable.
The Kwara State Small Medium and Enterprise, SME Recovery Committee physically verified 58 out of over 300 buisness owners that applied for the government’s support.
Others were either not reachable or available for verification even though they were duly informed of the visit, according to the committee.
Some of the areas visited were Kwara Mall, Fate, Sango, Asadam, Airport, Gaa Akanbi, Tanke among others.