Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 6 September 2012 | 3,560 times
The new, ultra-modern Industrial Market currently under construction will be ready by November this year but only traders who could show evidence of two years payment of tax and infrastructural levy would get shops in the market.
Making known government’s position on leasing of the stalls to traders, Chairman of the relocation committee, Chief Charles Ogbonna, said deadline for completion of relocation from the present Timber market in the heart of Umuahia was November 15, this year and the market demolished thereafter. The deadline, he warned, was not negotiable.
Addressing traders at a meeting he held with them Tuesday at the new market site at Azueke Ibeku, along the Umuahia-Ikot Ekpene Road, Ogbonna who is the Deputy Chief of Staff, Government House, said the lock-up shops as well as necessary facilities required for the take-off of the new market including a Police post, fire service, electricity, six boreholes, a lorry park, as well as a dual carriage way and road network, were already in place.
Also, 10 warehouses and 200 units of 3-bedroom flats would be constructed at the market site to boost the traders’ comfort, the Chief of Staff disclosed.
According to him, government has paid Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) N27.8million for installation of electricity in the new market and has paid N21.5 million compensation to land owners. “There are no encumbrances to the realization of the project,” Ogbonna declared.
To ease traffic, he said the state government plans to dualise 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 were over.
“All traders who indicate interest will be allocated shops so long as they show evidence of tax payment and payment of infrastructural levies for at least two years.
“The cost of the shops range from N500’000 to N1.5 million and payment will be spread over a period of time,” the relocation committee chairman said.
Felix Lekwauwa and G.M Onwuzurigo who are Timber dealers, lauded government for its vision in relocating the industrial market but pleaded with government to consider reducing the cost of the shops to make them affordable.
*Photo: Abia landmark in Umuahia, the state capital wher the market is located.
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