The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has promised to give a tax break of Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) to shop owners at Circle Mall, Lekki whose shops were looted by hoodlums during the violent attacks in different parts of the state as a result of the hijack of the #EndSARS protest.
The Governor who went around the mall to pay a condolence visit to shop owners and tenants in the area, also promised that the state government will offer some financial assistance to all the business owners affected by the ugly incident on Wednesday, October 21.
The Governor made an appeal to the Federal Government to ensure that they get tax relief from the Federal Internal Revenue Services (FIRS).
He added that the state will not leave the people alone to bear the brunt, noting that the government will assist them to return to their respective businesses.
“The state government will give victims of the Circle Mall financial support, which will be in form of grant or loans to cushion the effect of the looting and destruction of their respective shops and stores.
“The grant support is non-refundable financial support to the victims. Affected businesses are not expected to pay back while the lending support would be in form of a loan, adding that he is already discussing with some financial institutions to assist people with zero-interest loans.”
Recall that most business facilities in the state and commercial buildings were destroyed and valuable commodities carted away by hoodlums thereby leaving behind the debris of vandalised items.
According to the Governor, the state government cannot stop people from coming into the state, he, therefore, warned that people with criminal intentions to go elsewhere before being smoked out by the government.
He reiterated that his administration is committed to the security of lives and property in the state.
“The state government is ready to encourage people who are in Lagos for business and would go the extra mile to protect businesses in the state.
“Lagos State will no longer tolerate hoodlums looting and destroying government and private businesses and properties,” he said.
In appreciation, the tenants at Circle Mall thanked 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 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.
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.