Abia state government has fixed November 15th this year as deadline for the relocation of traders from the old industrial market, Umuahia to the new one at Azueke Ibeku.
The chairman of the market relocation committee, and Deputy chief of staff, office of the Deputy Governor, Chief Charles Ogbonna disclosed this at a traders/media forum he organized at the site of the new market.
He disclosed that movement of the traders at the expiration of the deadline is not negotiable, stressing that the old site would be demolished afterwards.
According to him, all the necessary facilities required for the take-off of the new market including a police post, fire service, electricity, six boreholes, lorry park and road network are already in place.
He disclosed that 10 warehouses as well as 200 units of 3-bedroom flats have been earmarked for construction to give comfort to the traders.
The committee chairman stated that the government has so far paid the power holding company 27.8million naira for the installation of electricity and the sum of 21.5 million as compensation to the land owners adding that there are no encumbrances to the realization of the project.
Chief Ogbonna stated that the state government plans to dualize the Umuahia Ikot- Ekpene road up to the Michael Okpara university of Agriculture Umudike in addition to constructing internal roads in the market once the rains are over, revealing that already a dual carriage way has been constructed at the market.
He said that all traders who indicate interest in getting a shop will be allocated shops so long as they show evidence of tax payment and payment of infrastructural levies for at least two years and maintained that payment for the shops which range from N500’000 to N1.5 million will be spread over a period of time.
In their reactions, some of the traders including Felix Lekwauwa and GM Onwuzurigo lauded the government for its vision to relocate the industrial market but pleaded with government to consider reducing the cost of the shops to make them affordable to traders.