Before Christmas 2021, the first phase of the Ahia Ohuru Market in Aba being remodeled by the Abia State government will be handed over to their owners, the State Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, has assured.
In a statement he issued in Umuahia on Tuesday, the commissioner disclosed that shops in Lines 1 and 2 will be handed over to the traders any moment from now to enable the traders do their Christmas sales.
According to him, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has worked vigorously to ensure that some parts of the remodeled Ahịa Ọhụrụ Market is handed over to the traders before Christmas, adding that the governor has pledged to subsidise the shops to the tune of N50m for the first 100 traders that will return to their shops.
He assured that the sum has already been set aside and that the governor will personally hand over the allocation papers to the traders at a date to be announced soon.
The Abia Trade and Investment commissioner who had on Monday met and interacted with traders in the market and other market leaders in the commercial city during a Town Hall Meeting organized by the ministry in Aba, vowed that traders displaced as a result of the reconstruction of the market would be given preferential treatment when the allocation begins.
“The governor has directed that none of them should lose their shop”, he revealed.
He used the opportunity to reiterate Ikpeazu’s commitment to leave a lasting impact in Aba and Abia State as a whole, pointing out that Port Harcourt, Ngwa, Ohanku, Obohia Roads as well as other ongoing road projects in Aba would be completed before the expiration of his tenure.
Okiyi Kalu emphasised the importance of Port Harcourt Road to Ahịa Ọhụrụ Market and explained that work would commence there next week on the road. He bemoaned the impact of heavy rainfall this year which halted the pace of work on different road projects currently ongoing across the city, describing it as natural occurrence beyond human control.
His word, “Our hardworking traders should exercise more patience as governor Ikpeazu has resolved to complete all ongoing projects in consonance with his promise not to abandon any project started by his administration”.
Responding, some of the traders expressed appreciation to the state government for organising the meeting to update them on such critical matters affecting them and reiterated their support to the government.
They promised to continue to work with the developer handling the Ahịa Ọhụrụ Market project to ensure that the remodeling process is completed on time.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.