Alaba International Market, Ojo Alaba, Lagos, would close business transactions on December 24.
According to the President of Alaba Amalgamated Association, Council of Sectional Heads, Ichie Fabian Ezeradi Ezeorjika, the decision was taken after a meeting of the chairmen of the 16 sections that make up the market.
He said that the activities leading to the closing of the market for the year began with prayers in the different sections.
He disclosed that the Electrical Dealers Association of Nigeria (EDAN) invited Pastor Julius Nwegwu of Watchman Catholic Charismatic Church Ojo, while the Electronics Section had Pastor Lazarus Mouka, the General Overseer of the Lords Chosen at their own prayers.
He noted that though the outgoing year was a very difficult one for the traders, they had to thank God for life.
He said that the main purpose of all the sections in the market closing on the same day is for security.
He said that December season is prone to insecurity and fire outage, therefore, the need for tidiness.
“The market calendar for Alaba International will come to an end on December 24 while our reopening would be on January 6, 2020. This outgoing year is not really a good one for the traders in the market because we had a lot of challenges. The biggest of them was road. Our importers recorded a lot of losses because of the incessant fall of their containers along Lagos-Badagry Expressway. We also lost some of our customers because of the bad road. So, it is not a good one to us. However, we are happy that we are alive to see the end of the year. We are optimistic of a prosperous new year, especially now that work is going on the Lagos-Badagry expressway. The potholes in the road that lead to the market from Volkswagen have also been filled by the local government council. All the sections of the market invited men of God to come and pray for a prosperous New Year. We, in EDAN invited Pastor Julius Nwegwu. Electronics invited Pastor Lazarus Mouka and so on”.
In their contributions, other traders in the market said that they hope that the coming year would be better than the outgoing one.
They said that most of them had no profit to declare because of the numerous challenges that they encountered.
According to them, even poor road network was among one of the major challenges that they encountered in the year.
Chukwudi Obiajulu said that it seemed everything was strewn up together to work against them in the outgoing year.
“Since this year, 2019 was one of my worst since I came to Alaba. I have never had it this bad. The poor state of Lagos-Badagry expressway did not allow us to do business. Because of the state of the road, trailer drivers were charging as much as N500,000 to bring a container to Alaba and most of the time they fall on the road. Even if the containers manage to get to Alaba, customers cannot come because of the same reason. Some of us decided to be doing waybill but the telecommunication companies did not help matters. The network was so poor that you can hardly receive call when you are inside Alaba market. So, for us in the market, it did not only rain in 2019, it poured
Why we have heavy police presence at BBA, Trade Fair complex –Emechebe, CSO
The Chief Security Officer of Balogun Business Association, Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, Badagry Expressway, Lagos, Prince Chuks Emechebe has given reasons there is heavy police presence at the international shopping mall.
According to him, the reason was to avoid breakdown of law and order.
He said that information reaching the security apparatus in the market was that some people were plotting to cause mayhem in the complex.
He disclosed that last Tuesday, some hoodlums numbering over 100 walked round the complex, chanting war songs and calling themselves revolutionaires.
He alleged that the hoodlums were being sponsored by some past executives of the association.
He also said that it was when they saw strong signs of impending breakdown of law and order that the current executive of the association led by Chief Tony Obih had to apply for police protection.
He said that they are even planning to make the police presence permanent so that the safety of the traders and customers would be guaranteed.
His words: “As the Chief Security Officer of Balogun Business Association, Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, the safety of the traders and customers lie on my shoulder. For some time now, we have been receiving several signals that some hoodlums are being sponsored to cause mayhem in the complex. Even last week, some people who called themselves revolutionaires went round the complex chanting war songs. But as a law abiding executive led by Chief Tony Obih, we don’t return fire for fire because when two elephants fight, it is the ground that suffers. It is here that we are getting what we are using to feed our families. Therefore, we will not like anything to happen to it. It is those who no longer have investment in BBA that are fomenting trouble. That is why we have to run to the police for protection”.
Contributing, the chairman of Electricity Committee in the complex, Chief Emeka Dioha appealed for peace in the complex.
According to him, it is only peace that would make the market to move forward.
Chief Dioha said that the news about Balogun Business Association at this time in history was not good for the ears.
He, therefore, appealed to those who are planning to cause mayhem in the market to have a change of mind and toe the line of dialogue.
“My own position is that we should embrace peace in the market because without peace, there will be no progress and development.”
Chief Tony Obih is currently the president of Balogun Business Association, he should be given the free hand to execute the contract that he has with the traders of BBA. The current distraction is an evil wind that is blowing nobody any good”.
Anambra Stockfish Market honours members
From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
A couple of days ago was time for recognition with leadership excellence award, gifts for those who have done well and merriment for the entire traders at Stockfish International Market, Obosi, Anambra State.
About 13 distinguished members of the union, including members of the past executive were given merit award, which was divided in two categories of leadership excellence and supper award for those who saw to the construction and development of the Stockfish market.
The awardees in the two categories were Dennis Aghaduba; Uche Nwosu; Chief Hyginus Nsofor; Simeon Emekwe; Ugochukwu Ezenwata; Ikechukwu Obi and James Nzuruike for the second category while Chief Emmanuel Ezeagu; Chief Austin Ibe; Chidi Unegbu, secretary to the union; Sir Sunday Maduako; Tony Alagba and Chief Anthony Muoka were for the supper category.
About 32 gift items ranging from giant standing air-conditioners, washing machines, LedTV sets and deep freezers were splashed to members to thank them for their various contributions towards the development of the market.
In his opening remarks, President General of the market union, Chief Celestine Ezewuru tagged the event as end-of-year special meeting of the Stockfish dealers.
He said the traders had every reason to thank God and appreciate members of the immediate past executive for having run affairs of the market successfully and handed over to a new executive and also to thank others who had distinguished themselves in diverse ways for the progress of the market.
“We are here to say thank you to the immediate past executive of our great union for a job well done in the market. We are doing it to show that they did well after going through their records. There was a building committee that built this market. I received the handover and I have all the documents.
“I have completed 100 per cent all the ongoing projects which I inherited from my predecessors. The past executive did their audit and successfully handed over to our executive and we consider it worthy to appreciate them,” Chief Ezewuru explained.
He declared that the awards given to the awardees needed no financial commitment by the recipients “otherwise it will no longer be merit award.”
The market leader announced that the section of casual workers in the market would be restructured to guard against infiltration of thieves among the casual workers.
He narrated a recent experience where one of the casual workers was caught with stolen stockfish, though, he said that he used his powers as the executive president of the union to grant pardon to the thief who he said did not even have a guarantor and asked him to go, but to sin no more.
He said he did that in order not to disrupt activities already slated for the day and having discovered that the thief was pushed into the act because of frustration.
The immediate past president of the union and currently the Board of Trustees (BoT) Chairman, Mr Anthony Muoka who was among the members that received special award said those who received the awards and special gifts were those who built the market and others who contributed good ideas to see that the market was built.
“We are well organized and we do not belong to other market associations in Anambra State. The reason is that we have direct dealings with our foreign suppliers in Norway and Island. It is only in stockfish business that you have importers association of Nigeria.
“We like to be on our own devoid of pockets of violence that often characterize some market associations. When they want to do election, candidates will be spending money, campaigning. It is not like that in stockfish union. Our elections are done when we come out for prayers, no campaign, no spending of money and whoever the traders want to lead them becomes the leader, “ he said.
Chief Emmanuel Ezeagu, one of the trustees on his part said he was very grateful to God for ceaselessly crowning efforts of the union leaders with success.
Chief Ezeagu praised the leadership of Chief Ezewuru for the honour done his predecessors and prayed for God’s wisdom for him to continue to pilot the affairs of the union.
Anambra traders donate to charity
From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
As traders of various markets in Anambra State prepare to shut their shops to join other Christians worldwide to celebrate the Christmas and New Year holidays, traders of Building Materials International Market, Ogidi, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State have put smiles on thousands of less privileged as one of the events to mark this year’s Christmas celebration.
The offer of free food items to the disabled and people with other forms of deformity has become a tradition in the market since the inception of the present market administration led by Chief Jude Nwankwo (Ochudo).
The event commenced with a service presided over by a Catholic priest of Onitsha Archdiocese, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Obimma (Ebube Muonso) with past leaders of the market, patrons and well-wishers in attendance.
The cleric praised the traders and their leadership for maintaining lasting peace in the market. He noted that it had led to steady development of the market to make possible the management of resources entrusted in their care.
This, he said, would eventually metamorphose into the completion of the new market extension on record time. The priest, however, prophesied continuous prosperity of the traders for their willingness to give to charity.
In an address, the President-General, Building Materials International Market, Ogidi, Chief Jude Nwankwo thanked the traders for their support in the passing year and urged them to continue to champion the struggle for peace and always donate to charity in their various communities, especially during this Christmas period.
Chief Nwankwo who was surrounded by members of his executive as they experienced a hectic moment distributing food items to the poor said that the secret of his success in life was his constant disposition to assist the poor and the downtrodden.
He reiterated the willingness to continue to assist the poor and downtrodden in the society as God continues to bless him with success and good health.
He, however, urged the rich and well-to-do to assist in reducing the sufferings of the poor around them. Cartons of noodles, tubers of yam, bags of rice, tomatoes, toilet tissues and cash gifts were presented to the beneficiaries.