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President of the Balagun Business Association (BBA), Lagos International trade Fair complex, Chief Tony Obih, has given insights on why his administration deemed it necessary to give out relief packages to members as the national and state COVID-19 lockdown continues.
He spoke to Business Hilights in an interview during the sharing of the materials on Sunday, April 27, 2020 at the main gate of the BBA>
We are now in the second phase of lockdown in Lagos and you are the resident of BBA, can you tell us what is going on here today.
Today, because of the lockdown and the effect of lockdown, we decided to attend to our members who are badly affected in this lockdown. The Association provided relief materials to assist our people who cannot afford to eat at this point in time. So we were able to acquire food items like rice, Indomie, Tomatoes, Maggi and the rest of them that are worth about 9 million Naira that we are distributing to our members. And to assist the government in form of a palliative so that is what we are doing today. We are touching the life of our members who are hungry and we want them to stay at home instead of going about or doing other illegal things to obtain their living. So we are glad to assist them, so that is what we are doing today, we are encouraging them to stay at home because we have a common enemy that is called COVID-19. Government cannot fight it alone we have to help government to contain the spread of this virus and that is what we are doing. We are not in a hurry to open our market because without life, we cannot do business, we must secure our lives first before business. So there is need and absolutely necessary to remain at home in other to get this thing resolved or curtailed.
Based on what he said, in case by 2nd May, the federal government says that the lockdown will continue, what is your advice for members?
Well there is nothing that we can do, life is more important than any other thing, there is no two way about it. If I am asked to stay for one year in my house for me not to die, I will stay two year I will stay an extra one year for me to stay alive. So there is nothing we can do about it.
So what is your advice for all traders in BBA, Trade Fair and Lagos in general?
Am advising all Lagosians to comply without full compliance, we cannot achieve our result. So there is need for us to comply with the directive of federal government and state government for us to get it done. So am advising all the traders in Lagos, not only in BBA, that we should comply and abide by the rule. This is because COVID-19 is a common enemy ravaging the world so I am advising the people if Government say that it is over or give an extension of another two weeks, am advising everyone to comply. We can always assist them, if it gts to that, we will look for another palliative measure in other to assist them.
You are the President of BBA, what is your message for other residents of other association of markets in Lagos?
They should talk with their members and tell them to comply with the directive given, if you want to get something done somebody must pay the price we are paying the price. So they need to advice their members and enlighten them. Tell them the need to obey for them to comply with the directive.
Are you also advising them to give palliative?
Yes, of course where government cannot reach, you try your bet and enrich them. Like this place, government has not remembered us, nothing was given to us, nothing was given t this union and we cannot continue to wait for the government, while our people are dying in hunger. Some people were crying, they said instead of them dying of hunger; let COVID-19 kill them. So that is why you see people going outside instead of staying at home. So I am advising all associations to please arrange something for the masses, there in people in their market that are feeding from hand to mouth. Whatever they get in a day that is what they eat. Now we have spent almost one month at home, s how will these people feed. There is need for them to assist them in form of palliative.
Thank you may we know you once more?
My name is Chief Tony Obih. I am the president of Balogun Business Association (BBA), Lagos International trade Fair complex.
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