By Olanrewaju Akojede
As African countries continue to stem the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Nigeria Union South Africa (NUSA) says it plans a N6.8 million (about R300,000) relief package for Nigerians whose businesses were affected by lockdown.
The President of NUSA, Mr Adetola Olubajo, who made the disclosure to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone, said the decision was reached at the union’s 2020 National Congress with theme: “Post-COVID-19 Survival of Small Business’’.
Olubajo said the theme of the congress held virtually was inspired by the need to assist people, small businesses who were adversely affected by the COVID-19 lockdown.
He said that the number of people who would come forward for such an assistance would determine how many would benefit within the available fund.
Olubajo said that NUSA had set up an Economic Team for the purpose, headed by Mr Matthew Okafor, an IT Security Consultant with Concept254 Digital.
“We intend to raise N6.8 million (about R300,000) from private individuals within our community, mostly from our members of Board of Trustee.
“The mobilisation of fund has started and from next month we will be collecting applications from members of our community who are adversely affected by the COVID-19 lockdown regulations.
“Petty traders are our main target as majority of them do not have access to government relief package. Some of them don’t even have bank accounts, so it’s impossible for them to get loans from financial institutions,’’ he told NAN.
He added that the relief programme would be spread across the nine provinces of South Africa but would be centrally coordinated by the National Secretariat of NUSA in Pretoria.
“We are ready to collaborate with either government and or cooperate bodies that are willing to assist our people.
“We have no collaboration for now but we are open to collaboration with any willing organisation or government,’’ Olubajo said. (NAN)