Suleiman Anyalewechi, Aba
Ahead of the October ending deadline to traders displaying their wares along major roads/ streets and other unauthorized places outside designated markets in Abia state major cities like Aba, the commercial hub and Umuahia the state capital to vacate, the interim management committee of Ariaria International Market Aba has reiterated its commitment towards sanitizing activities in and around the state’s largest market.
This is even as findings have revealed that the affected traders appear not ready and or in a hurry to obey the government directives.
Newscritic.com.ng reports that the Abia state government had about three weeks ago directed traders along major roads to relocate their businesses to the markets, and other legally recognized places on or before the end of October or face sanctions.
In a statement signed by the Commissioner for Commerce, Trade and Investment Dr Chimezie Ukaegbu, the state government said the activities of traders conducting their businesses along roads, streets and other unauthorized places apart from obstructing free flow of traffics also help in blocking the drainages.
In an exclusive interactive session with newscritic.com.ng in Aba on Wednesday October 25 2023, Ozoekwe Chikadibia, Chairman Ariaria Interim Management Committee said the leadership of the market is resolute towards ensuring that activities at the market are conducted strictly in line with acceptable standards, adding that they will never be distracted from their set objective of ensuring orderliness in and around the market.
“From inception, our mission has been to create an enabling environment for traders and other users of the market to conduct their business activities.
This entails departing from the ugly narrative of the past and instituting guidelines that encourage ease of trading activities. I want to assure that we are working assiduously towards achieving the goals and visions of the government for markets in the state.
Although, our reformative ideas and steps are bound to attract negative thoughts and reactions from a few quarters, we will not be deterred.
We are adopting the twin strategies of sensitization and peaceful engagement to ensure that all trading activities at Ariaria are conducted within the ambit of the law and directives of the government,” Ozoekwe noted.
Newscritic.com.ng visit to some of the arears earmarked for traders to vacate such as Etchie Road, Mosque and Pound roads, however, indicated that the affected traders appear not ready to comply with the relocation order by the government, as they were observed conducting their businesses unperturbed.
This also raises the pertinent question about how the authorities are going to handle the situation, as not a few are of the believe that the activities of the roadside traders negatively impact the internally generated revenue of the state.
Under the present arrangements, a large chunk of the revenues being collected from the roadside traders goes into private pockets.