By SUNDAY ODIBASHI
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has commenced the payment of compensation to owners of shops that were destroyed or looted by hoodlums during the October 2020 #EndSARS protest in the state and other parts of the country. Governor Sanwo-Olu had promised compensation to several victims of the #EndSARS protest both security operatives killed during the mass action and shop owners who lost their goods.
The governor included the compensation in the justice process for victims of the peaceful process which was hijacked by hoodlums. Governor Sanwo-Olu had earlier disbursed funds to the families of the security operatives killed during the #EndSARS protest in Lagos. Subsequently, the governor appointed a committee to handle the compensation of traders that suffered losses during the protest.
The committee did diligent work, conducted its assessment in transparent manner, shortlisted victims who applied for compensation, visited their shops at whatever location in Lagos State for on-the-spot assessment before proceeding to the next stages.
The Committee subsequently invited the prospective beneficiaries to its office at Billings Way, Alausa, for further cross-examination and taking details of their bank transactions to evaluate and determine what compensation to give to the beneficiaries.
Thereafter, some were scheduled for N100,000 compensation, several others over N250,000; over N480,000 and other N900,000 and above.
The committee commenced invitations to beneficiaries in November 2020 to sign for the amount allocated for their respective compensation. The committee, thereafter, sent bank alerts to beneficiaries on the amount of compensation scheduled for each recipient, and subsequently, transfers were made to their respective bank accounts.
It was, however, noted that the committee had to open new bank accounts with Access Bank Plc for the various beneficiaries of the compensation by the Lagos State Government for accountability. The recipients had to regularize the accounts for personal usage before accessing the fund.
Generally, the compensation committee was thorough in the assessment of the various beneficiaries and was transparent in the processes leading to final payment of the compensation to the beneficiaries.
However, there were few beneficiaries who complained of delay in payment of their money after signing at the committee’s office at Billings Way. The committee was said to have attributed such delays to computer technical faults but assuring that all payments would be made to all qualified beneficiaries who the committee members have assessed and verified.