Traders in Agege Market have sent a Save Our Soul message to the governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwu-Olu over what they alleged to be illegal revenue collection by agents of the local government.
According to the President General of Igbo Traders Association, Agege, Chief Tony Nwaigbo, trade permit is fixed and uniformly paid by all the traders.
However, he said that the agents of the local government no longer follow this laid down procedure., pointing out that what the council does now is to come to their shops and charge trade permit according to the size of the goods in the shops.
The market boss said that those who refuse to be exploited have had their shops locked for over two weeks.
He, therefore, appealed to the Lagos State governor to use his good office to call the agents of Agege Local Government to order so as to avoid breakdown of law and order in the market.
He said that the traders in the market are not opposed to the payment of trade permit, saying that what is causing trouble is the illegality that the agents of the council are trying to perpetuate in the market.
Nwaigbo also called on Igbo stakeholders, Lagos State to intervene in their plight, adding that many of their traders have been suffering because their shops have been locked by the agents of the local government.
His words: “I want to appeal to the governor of Lagos State Babajide Sanwu-Olu to come and save us from the precarious situation that we have found ourselves. We are law abiding citizens and have been discharging our civic responsibilities which include payment of trade permit and other taxes as and when due. We are committed to the development of the space that we find ourselves. However, what we will not tolerate is illegality. Trade permit is fixed by the legislature and to the best of our knowledge, there has been no change in the trade permit. But agents of Agege Local Government have resorted to charging trade permit by the size of the goods in our shops and this is generating a lot of confusion in the market and it has also resulted in extortion because there is no longer uniformity in payment.”
Foreigners driving us out of tyre business –Indigenous tyre marketers lament
Traders in African Tyre Village, Lagos International Tr
ade Fair complex have appealed to the Federal Government to revisit the policy that gave foreign tyre marketers an edge over the indigenous tyre marketers.
The President of the Tyre Village, Alhaji Issa Akanbi Mohammed, who made the call at the weekend, said that it is wrong for foreigners who are the manufacturers of the tyres to also be retailing them in the markets in the country.
He said that the action is driving a lot of indigenous tyre marketers out of business.
According to him, if the policy is not changed, it means that sooner than later, Lebanese, Indians and other countries would be the ones selling tyres across the country, adding that would contribute to the high unemployment rate being recorded in the country.
He said that in other climes, the governments make policies that protect their citizens, urging the Nigeria government to do the same for them.
“Africa Tyre Village is today the largest tyre market in Africa and it attracts patronage across the length and breadth of the continent. The leadership of the market has strategically positioned the market and that is why it is gaining global recognition. We are running on international best practices to ensure that only quality tyres and trusted brands are allowed into the market.
“This has generated strong partnership with regulatory agencies like Standard Organisation of Nigeria, whose duty it’s to ensure that only standard goods are allowed into the country and Federal Road Safety Corps, whose duty it is to ensure that vehicles are healthy and road worthy,” he said.
In his contribution, the Chief of Staff to the President of the market, Chris, Uzoma Okolo said that the World Trade Organisation treaty should be reviewed.
He noted that Asian countries hide under this treaty to make Nigeria a dumping ground for their products.
He said that it is wrong for countries like India and Lebanon where they import their tyres to be coming to Nigeria to engage in retail trade thereby frustrating Nigerian importers out of the market.
Ban: Union arrests 30 market hustlers, 2 fake insurance brokers in Nnewi
David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
Fairly Used and New Motorcycles Dealers Association (FUNMDA), Nnewi, Anambra State has arrested 30 market hustlers and two fake insurance brokers in connection with a recent warning to the suspects to desist from their illegal activities or face the wrath of the union.
Chairman of the association, Mr Eloka Ubajekwe announced the development at the market on Friday when interviewed on the level of compliance since the order was handed down on the operators a couple of weeks ago.
He said that only genuine insurance brokers would have peace of mind to run their business at the market.
He said that the two fake insurance brokers arrested were handed over to the police while the case of the market hustlers was treated in-house by the executive of the market association.
He said that the reason for not handing the arrested hustlers over to the police was for them not to spend money at the police.
Mr Ubajekwe explained that the market hustlers arrested were rather subjected to provide guarantors among the traders known to the union and were allowed to attach themselves to such traders as market assistants for their activities to be put under check.
“Our target is to control their activities to avoid a situation where a customer will come to market and you see about 20 or 30 hustlers following him as if they want to snatch his bag. Some of them have begun to attach themselves to real shop owners and we allow that. Some of them can even be settled by those individual traders, if they do well in their assistance.
“That is the way it is and many had been so settled in the past. Our 72 taskforce members to checkmate both the hustlers and fake insurance brokers are doing their job,” he said.
Meanwhile, the insurance brokers have been having meetings after meeting at the market to see the way forward.
SEAMATA gets new exco, decries congestion in PH ports
Magnus Eze, Enugu
The South East Amalgamated Traders Association (SEAMATA) has elected new executive committee to pilot its activities with Chief Gozie Akudolu as its President General.
Also elected at the rancor-free election which took place in Enugu include Emeka Emechebe (1st Vice President General), Ngozi Ozioko (2ndVice President General and Chief Temple Ude (Coordinator).
Others are Alex Okwudili (Secretary), Christopher Kalibe (Asst. Sec), Augustine Onyia (Financial Sec) Peter Oba (Treasurer), Chuma Eruchalu (Publicity Secretary), Eze Christopher (Asst. Publicity Secretary), Acho Obi (Chief Provost) and Tochukwu Adiah (Asst. Provost).
In his acceptance speech, Akudolu thanked the immediate past leader of the association, Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo, who is now a National Assembly member for his contribution to the formation and growth of the body.
He also praised the effort of oil magnet, Mr Emeka Offor for being with the association in thick and thin as patron, noting that he has remained their financial backbone over the years.
The new market leader reiterated the resolve of the traders to work closely with the governors of the Southeast states to boost the economic base of the zone.
SEAMATA, however, frowned at the bottleneck associated with clearing goods at the Port Harcourt ports in Rivers State and called for the urgent decongestion by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
In their appeal to the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), the traders lamented that the unbearable situation has drastically affected the ease-of-doing-business in the region.
“I want to seize this opportunity to call on the Comptroller General of Customs to as a matter of urgency, begin a holistic decongestion of the Port Harcourt ports to alleviate the suffering of traders in the Southeast. Cargoes that initially arrived, cleared and taken delivery of within 30 days, presently take as much as 65 days and is adversely affecting the ease-of-business in the Southeast,” Akudolu said.