Listen to article
Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu has assured traders of Ariaria International and Ngwa road markets of the determination of his administration to remodel the markets to meet international standards.
Ikpeazu made this known in Aba yesterday, the commercial nerve of the state while interacting with the executives and some major stakeholders in the two major markets.
Gov. Ikpeazu who stated that the interface with the traders will be frequent in order to ensure that the government carried the traders along in the scheme of things, said that the government was desirous to making sure that the traders return to their shops and do their businesses under a safer and conducive environment which was why the government began the remodeling of the markets in phases.
The governor who was represented by the Commissioner of Trade and Investment, Chief John Okiyi-Kalu assured that no new shop owners will get a shop allocation until the original shop owners get their shops when the allocation of shops begins in the two major markets.
On the flooding of the project area in Ariaria International market, Okiyi-Kalu disclosed that the governor of the state has awarded a contract to the channel storm water from the area through Omuma road which is currently under reconstruction with rigid pavement technology adding that the governor has taken further steps to ensure that double taxation was addressed as well I all the markets.
The Commissioner who charged the traders to ensure that they continued to sustain the peace in the markets, warned against sabotaging efforts of the state government.
Chief Okiyi-Kalu who appealed to the traders displaced as result of the ongoing remodeling efforts to exercise patience with the slow pace of work in the markets which he attributed to the effect of the rainy season, promised speedy pace of work as soon as the dry season sets in. He informed that Government acted deliberately in providing alternative shops for the displaced traders within their market because of the premium it places on the welfare of traders and Abians in general.
‘We are committed to the welfare of all our traders as they remain key drivers of Abia economy. That is why the administration has constructed many good roads to the markets including Ngwa road, Osusu, MCC-Samek, Okigwe road and many others’
Some of the traders who had earlier spoken at the event expressed concern over losing their shops, excessive taxation of the traders by the Abia State Board of Internal Revenue (ABIR), flooding of construction areas including slow pace of work by the contractors and among other issues raised.