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ENDSARS

#EndSARS: Lagos promises Tax Break, financial support for owners of affected businesses

Lagos to give tax breaks and some financial assistance to all the business owners affected.

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Lagos State Government is set to give tax breaks and some financial assistance to all the business owners affected by the ugly actions of hoodlums and arsonists that hijacked the #EndSARS protests.

This was disclosed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu during his meeting with tenants and shop owners at Circle Mall in Lekki.

READ: #EndSARS: Nigerians, Startups fast adopting Bitcoin

Speaking on his administration’s readiness to assist those affected by destruction in Circle Mall, Lekki, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the state would not leave the people to bear the pains alone, stressing that the government would assist them to return to their respective businesses.

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 business people, especially small-scale business owners.

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Backstory

Recall that some hoodlums went on a rampage on Wednesday, October 21, after the EndSARS protests were hijacked, and looted property worth billions of naira at Circle Mall and also set parts of the building ablaze.

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Following the recent looting and burning of several shops and stores at Circle Mall in Lekki by hoodlums due to the hijack of the EndSARS protests, Sanwo-Olu has promised to assist the tenants and shop owners at the mall for them to bounce back to business.

READ: Third Mainland Bridge: Lagos to close Adekunle to Adeniji section of the bridge

What you should know

  • The Lagos State Government will give all business owners in the burnt Circle Mall tax breaks of PAYE. It has also appealed to the Federal Government to ensure that they get tax relief from the Federal Internal Revenue Services (FIRS).
  • Victims of the Circle Mall will also be getting financial support, which will be in form of grant/loans to cushion the effect of the looting and destruction of their respective shops and stores.
  • The grant support is a non-refundable financial support to the victims, as the affected businesses are not expected to pay back.
  • The lending support would be in form of a loan; however, the Governor is in talks with some financial institutions to assist people with zero-interest loans.

Reactions of the business owners

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.

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They also appealed to Lagos State Government to strengthen the security around Circle Mall to prevent repeated occurrences of the two attacks they had suffered in the last 13 months.

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The Governor’s words to Lagosians

Governor Sanwo-Olu further exhorted everybody to embrace the reorientation of value systems and civil responsibility. He urged that everybody should be an agent of positive change in their community.

Reiterating his administration’s commitment to protecting lives and property 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 that though Lagos State Government could stop people from moving into the state, people with criminal intentions were warned to go elsewhere before being smoked out by the government.

The Governor said that his government was ready to encourage people in Lagos for business, and would go the extra mile to protect businesses in the state.

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ENDSARS

#EndSARS: Protest hijack was catalysed by fake news – Lai Mohammed

The hijack of #EndSARS protests was catalysed by fake news and disinformation, Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed has said.

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Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, has claimed that the hijack of the #EndSARS protests was catalysed by fake news and disinformation, which spread like wildfire on social media.
The Minister disclosed this during a stakeholders meeting with members of the broadcasting organizations of Nigeria (BON) on Friday in Abuja.
He said, “The violence that resulted from the hijack of the #EndSARS protest was catalysed by fake news and disinformation, which spread like wildfire on social media. And this did not come to us as a surprise. As far back as 2017, we had been raising the alarm on the risks posed by fake news and disinformation.
“That year, we devoted the National Council on Information to the issue of fake news, hate speech, and disinformation. The following year, in 2018, we launched the national campaign against fake news and disinformation, partnering with a number of print and electronic media organizations.
 
“Ladies and gentlemen, social media was used to guide arsonists and looters to certain properties, both public and private, during the #EndSARS violence. Then, pictures of persons, including some celebrities and even non-Nigerians, who were supposedly killed at the Lekki Toll Gate by soldiers, were circulated widely, only for those persons to refute such claims.
 
“This brings me to the issue of social media regulation. You must have heard about the hoopla this issue has generated in the media. Well, I want to confirm that we will definitely act to ensure a responsible use of social media. You may call that regulation.
He added that the FG had no plans to stifle press freedom in Nigeria and had no intention of shutting down the internet.
 
“This government has no plan to stifle free speech, neither do we have any intention of shutting down the internet. Social media has come to stay, and those who use it responsibly have nothing to fear.
“But we cannot give the same assurance for those who weaponize social media. By the way, the issue of regulating social media content is generating debate around the world, so Nigeria is not an exception,” he said.
What you should know 
Nairametrics reported earlier this month that Lai Mohammed said the Federal Government had no plans of shutting down social media, but must regulate it to prevent the spread of hate speech.

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ENDSARS

#EndSARS Sanctions: Nigeria has reached out to the UK Government – Foreign Minister

Onyeama has stated that the FG has reached out to the UK Government over the parliamentary debate on the #EndSARS protests.

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, said that the Nigerian Government has reached out to the UK Government over the parliamentary debate on the #EndSARS protests.

The Minister disclosed this to Newsmen at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Thursday, which was recorded by Channels TV.

READ: Gov. Makinde presents N266 billion budget to Oyo State House of Assembly

He added that the UK Parliament did not speak for the UK government, and that the UK had heard the Nigerian government’s side regarding the incident at Lekki.

READ: FG reacts to CNN report, describes Lekki shooting as massacre without bodies

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“On the issue of the UK parliament, yes, we have reached out to the UK government on this question. The meeting that took place was of Parliamentarians, they don’t speak for the UK government and the UK government which acts for the United Kingdom has also heard the side of the (Nigerian) government regarding everything that happened.

READ: #EndSARS: Bankers’ Committee, Private sector lead Lagos rebuilding team to raise trust fund

“So we are in touch with them and engaging with them. But, of course, as in any democracy, the Members of Parliament are able to also air their views, but what is important is that a balanced picture is made available to them all before they take any decision,” Onyeama said.

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What you should know 

Nairametrics reported earlier this week that the British Parliament had announced it would consider a petition by some groups and individuals, asking it to apply sanctions against the Nigerian government and officials for alleged human rights violations during the #EndSARS protest and Lekki shooting incident.

Also, the presidency earlier disclosed that the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, had a meeting with the UK Special Envoy for Humanitarian Affairs, Nick Dyer, accompanied by the UK High Commissioner to Nigeria.

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ENDSARS

#EndSARS: States affected by violence should get 1% VAT – Senate

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The Nigerian Senate has urged the Federal Government to give states that were affected by lootings and destruction by hoodlums after the anti-police brutality protests,  1% of all Value Added Tax (VAT).

This motion was moved by Senators Abiodun Olujimi and Gershom Bassey on Tuesday and disclosed in a report by Channels TV.

What you should know 

After the lootings and destruction by hoodlums who hijacked the #EndSARS protests, Nairametrics reported that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said Lagos State will need about N1 trillion for the reconstruction and repair of the properties and infrastructure that was vandalized in the process.

The Senators moving the motion declared that destruction caused in Lagos by hoodlums was valued at a range of over N1 trillion by the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

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(READ MORE: #EndSARS: Insurance firms can seek refund after indemnifying victims – MD, NICON Insurance)

Senator Gershom Bassey also revealed that hoodlums attacked federal properties in Calabar like the WAEC office and looted food warehouses in the state.

“Cross River State being a predominantly Civil Service State may not overcome the effects of the invasion since the destroyed state infrastructure were built from lean state resources over the years,” Bassey disclosed.

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Senator Sani Musa said the lootings which started in Lagos spread to other states, leading to the destruction of properties and urged for the FG’s assistance.

“#EndSARS came as a peaceful protest, but turned violent. It started in Lagos and later spread to other states which led to the destruction of homes, businesses, and government offices. It is very unfortunate. The government needs to rebuild what was destroyed and pay compensation as well. It is their responsibility,” Musa said.

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