Abia State government, yesterday, said it would begin the implementation of the ban on street trading in the state from Monday August 8 and have advised traders to relocate to approved sites.
Chairman of the Abia State Market Development Committee (ASMDC), Mr. Solomon Nwaigwe who stated this while addressing phone and accessories dealers at St. Michael’s Road, Aba, said the three months grace period given to the phone dealers to relocate to the Aba Mega Mall would not be extended as enforcement of the order would commence next Monday and warned that defaulters would be prosecuted.
Nwaigwe who stressed the dangers of street trading, hinted that the state government had mapped out sites for all service providers in the city to have a central market as obtainable in other parts of the world in a conducive environment with regular power supply and security.
He also said that traders would pay a monthly rent of N5,000 and N120,000, annually, for bigger shops.
According to him:
Abia State government is not going back on its resolve to end street trading in the state. On this, we are appealing to the phone and accessories dealers at St.Michaels road to relocate to the Aba Mega Mall where a conducive business environment has been provided for them at affordable prices. My Committee will ensure that all dealers on phones and accessories relocate to Aba Mega Mall to ensure a centralized market in Aba.
In a related development, the government has likewise extended the operational hours of tricycle (Keke) operators in the state from 7pm to 9pm.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu who announced the extension in Aba at a solidarity rally organized in his honour by the Abia State Amalgamated Tricycle Operators Association (ASATOA) said the initial restriction to 7pm was due to the increase in crimes linked to the operators and tasked operators to get rid of the bad eggs among them, just as he promised to stop the imposition of multiple levies on the union.