‘Fixing assets destroyed during #EndSars protests will take some time’

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, declared that it will take sometime for government to complete the repair of property and assets destroyed during the #Endsars protests in Lekki and other parts of the state.

Sanwo-Olu, who spoke shortly after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said his administration was still taking stock of the destruction the protesters wreaked on Lagos State before facilitating the repairs.

Fielding questions on what his government was doing after the crisis, the Governor said he had fruitful discussions with the President, on how to facilitate a rehabilitation of assets that were destroyed in Lagos.

“Some of the things I discussed with Mr. President are actually work in progress.
To destroy something takes one day, but to rebuild may take 10 years. It’s a journey, not a destination.

“And so, it’s going to take a while. We are carefully taking a proper study to know what we need to do and taking our time to get it right. But we’ve started something.

“We are assessing businesses that were affected, shops that were looted or burnt. We’ve been able to directly begin to support such businesses, especially on a micro, small level using the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund.

“The Fund has started intervening and supporting some of the small businesses, giving them grants, soft loans and ensuring sure that they come back quickly,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu, however, noted that the larger infrastructure, transportation system and others would take a fairly longer time to fix.

“We’re talking about a period under three months. So, it’s still a working document we are doing now and we also have to be very creative in how we raise the finance.”

“We didn’t have money anywhere, and you know it was towards the end of a financial year and we’re just starting another year. So, we have to make budgetary provisions for these things and raise required funds.

“Support from the private and public sectors before we begin to reconstruct some of those infrastructure is also critical, but we have them all focused and will be tackling them,” he added.

Governor Sanwo-Olu said he also briefed the President on other recent happenings, especially the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in Lagos, being the epicenter of the deadly virus.

He disclosed that he presented the state government’s efforts, challenges and how both tiers could partner with relevant agencies to the President with a view to mitigating the impacts of the pandemic.