By Afusat Agunbiade-Oladipo
Ilorin, Dec. 1, 2020 The Kwara State Small and Medium Enterprises ( SMEs) Recovery Committee has concluded on-the-spot evaluation of businesses affected by the #Endsars protests of October 23, 2020, says Kayode Alabi, state deputy governor and Chairman of the Committee.
Speaking with the business owners on Tuesday in ilorin, Alabi explained that the exercise became necessary to physically verify the claims by business owners, whose shops were either looted or vandalised during the protests.
The Deputy Governor, who was represented by the Secretary of the Committee, Mr Mohammed Brimah noted that the committee was divided into sub-committees and the Fact-finding and Evaluation sub-committee, in particular, had been working with a professional Insurance loss adjuster to ascertain the loses suffered by the business owners.
“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”, said the Deputy Governor.
Alabi added that the committee had earlier collated information submitted by the business owners online, processed them through phone calls for re-assessment, before the physical verification, with a view to determine the kind of support government could give the business owners.
He assured that the committee would conclude the assignment soon and make its recommendations to the government, expressing confidence that the support may come before the end of the year.
He also clarified that the Committee chose a Lagos-based Loss Adjuster to ensure that the exercise was unbiased.
“The reason why we are using an out-of-town loss adjuster was that the firm has no link or connection with any of the affected business owners and so will have no emotion or sentiment attached to the exercise, but if we had engaged an adjuster within the state, he could be put under pressure from family and relations of the affected persons”, Alabi said.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer of Aural Trust Loss Adjuster, Mr Gbenga Orekoya, said that the government engaged his firm to determine the integrity of the claims and if they were reasonable.
Orekoya noted that during the evaluation and interaction with the affected business owners, some of the claims were found to be genuine, whilst some others were questionable.
Naija247news reports that the SME Recovery Committee physically verified 58 out of over 300 businesses that applied for government support in such locations like Kwara Mall, Fate, Sango, Asadam, Airport, Gaa- Akanbi, Tanke, among others. .
Others were either not reachable, or available for verification, even though they were duly informed of the evaluation visit, the Committee said.