Shop owners who were affected by the tanker fire incident in the Apata area of Oyo state on December 15 alleged on Thursday that the N10m relief fund released by the government was mismanaged.
The victims also lamented that the few beneficiaries of the fund received less than what was allocated to them when the fund was disbursed.
State Governor Seyi Makinde had announced an N10m palliative plan for hell victims on December 21 during an on-site assessment.
The victims, who stormed the Nigerian Journalists Union state secretariat, Ibadan, carrying banners with various inscriptions, lamented that they were left out of the disbursement while few of them were given an insignificant part of the money.
The protesters, speaking through two merchants, Adunni Olasunkanmi and Temilade Makinde, claimed that 45 beneficiaries were initially listed when the cash was handed out, but the list expanded to more than 70 after it was amended to accommodate the that were not affected.
Olasunkanmi, popularly known as Iya Agoro, said: “I am a bread and necessities vendor affected by the fire. The first day the governor visited the accident scene, he promised to give us N10m as relief fund and then his representatives brought us the cash.
“There were 45 names on the list, but unfortunately, that list grew and those who were not affected were included. In fact, we do not know the new beneficiaries. The house in which I lived and stored my goods burned down and I was only lucky enough to escape with my four children.
“Initially the sum of N500,000 was written as the amount to be collected, but they only gave me N100,000. One Bamidele, who lost nothing in the fire because she was not among the merchants affected, received 300,000 naira. Someone claiming to be a shoemaker received N200,000. I lost more than 12 million naira in property in the fire.”
Temilade, whose shop was also destroyed in the fire, said she was promised 500,000 naira but only got 60,000 naira.
She said: “One day before the fire incident, I stocked the store with N1.3 million worth of food, but everything was gone, including the building that housed the store.
“We call on Governor Seyi Makinde to investigate the disbursement of the money and recover the money from the impostor’s victims.”