ABIA STATE GOVERNMENT SET TO DISLODGE STREET TRADERS AROUND ARIARIA INT’L MARKET
Abia state government has ordered the contractor erecting stalls at the only remaining car park at the Ariaria International market to desist forthwith from the building project until further notice.
Ariaria international market for years has suffered the challenges of space, infrastructure and environment.
It is disturbing that the few spaces left in the market have been converted to shops with “approvals” from the government.
The level of disorder in that market contributes largely to the poor environmental status of the popular market.
Every corner of the market is occupied by traders who do not just exhibit and sell their wares but also pay levies to either the market authorities or government.
It also became an issue that the traders not only stay within the market, but now occupy the major roads from Monday to Saturday constituting a huge traffic hiccup and defacing the city.
It is in an effort to correct this anomaly that the Commissioner for Trade and Investment Rt. Hon. Cosmos Ndukwe made a first hand visit to the market wherein he saw things for himself.
He chose a Sunday when there will be less commercial activities and few human presence there and truly saw the degree of recklessness in the market.
Worthy of note is that Ariaria is said to still have some empty shops within, yet people choose to trade right on the road, which is why the commissioner has directed them to move into those shops.
He frowned at the shops been built at the bakassi park, describing it as wicked and deliberate attempt to deface the market. He said the contractor must pull down the structure.
According to him, government is determined to balance infrastructure development and revenue generation in the number one commerce centre in the state.
The commissioner also warned those said to be collecting alleged illegal money from traders to prevent the relocation to stop forthwith as he would not give in to such cheap blackmail.
Those whose shops are said to be obstructing free flow of water through the waterways and drainages were also told to pull down the shops or have them removed by government.
The chairman and vice chairman of Ariaria International market, Okeke Chigozie Stephen, and Levi Ukaegbu , respectively joined the commissioner on the inspection tour.