Newsie Events Media:
Ariaria International market, Aba is one of the foremost market in Nigeria. However, due to perennial flooding, the market has become a shadow of itself. Aside that, there’s need for the foremost market to be upgraded to meet the standards of an International market and be able to compete with other modern markets around the world.
Consequently, the Abia State government is set to start phased redevelopment of the Market. This move by the Okezie Ikpeazu’s government is coming after a sad video surfaced on social media showing flooded market and how those that visited the market had to swim across to get to the next shop.
According to the statement from the Honorable Commissioner for Information, Abia State, Chief John Okiyi Kalu on Saturday 28th August 2021, the Governor has approved the commencement of phased redevelopment and it’s taking off immediately.
The statement reads:
“Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has approved the commencement of phased redevelopment of Ariaria International Market, Aba, from Sunday, 5th September, 2021.
Recall that the administration has made several efforts to reconstruct the 47-year old market in order to tackle its age-long structural issues with many of the shops as well as provide the necessary modern infrastructure to deal with the perennial flooding challenges particularly with A-Line while delivering other amenities like befitting car parks, conveniences, beautification of the surroundings, improved fire fighting capacity and such other facilities to our traders.
A cabal in the market that had been profiting from its current state had sought to place unnecessary legal and other obstacles on the path of government’s efforts and had hampered previous attempts at commencing works in the market in April 2021, but in the interest of overwhelming public good, we are compelled to go ahead with redevelopment efforts in one of the foremost markets in the country.
In recent days, different social media platforms have been inundated with uncomplimentary videos of flooded A-Line that obviously also endangers traders and shoppers alike while bringing the government into public odium. No responsible government will, in the face of such images making the rounds on social media, sit back and watch without taking appropriate actions to deliver the much needed solution as quickly as possible.
Consequently, after a final consultative meeting with stakeholders of Ariaria International Market on Tuesday, 24th August, 2021, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has approved the phased redevelopment of the market as follows:
- Traders currently doing business along A-Line, C-Line and Medical Line are to relocate from their shops on or before close of business on Saturday, 4th September, 2021 to enable the commencement of work the following day, Sunday, 5th September, 2021.
- Those affected are to temporarily relocate to Ekumi Shopping plaza or other available shops within the market.
- The developers have committed to completing the required work in the phase which includes establishment of proper drainage channels within the affected lines, construction of new shops and parks, before the first week of December 2021.
- Abia state government will through subsequent press releases publish the names of existing shop allottees who are guaranteed of their return to the reconstructed shops after completion of the first phase. It is important to state that no existing shop allottee will lose his/her shop after the work.
- Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is expected to personally hand back new allocation papers to all the existing allottees on Friday, 5th December, 2021.
- Trading activities are expected to continue in other lines that are not affected by the first phase of the redevelopment project while the appointed developers, Messrs Blessed Henkel International Company, are expected to work with the market committee and security agents to ensure full security within the market during the period of redevelopment.
Government wishes to assure traders that it will work to ensure minimal disruptions to trading activities while executing this project which has now been made more urgent and crucial because of the recent flooding forecast from the Nigeria Meteorological Agency, NiMet.
We will also not in any way tolerate any attempt by any individual or group to disrupt the planned work as we have consulted widely enough and given enough grace period, long before now, for alternative solutions which never yielded any meaningful result.
Finally, we solicit the understanding and support of all Abians as we restate our commitment to delivering a modern market to our people.”
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