David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
The Vice President of Nnewi Electrical/Electronic Dealers Association, Pastor Cliff Esione, has appealed to the Anambra State government to intervene in a matter he said has been standing between the landlords of the traders at the old site and the Nnewi North Local Government Council over relocation of the traders to their new site that has since been completed.
Pastor Esione who spoke on behalf of President of the market association, Sir Ugochukwu Udemezue, said that the dealers in electrical and electronic goods had been using an old site along the old Onitsha-Nnewi road, but were later given a site by the Nnewi North Local Government Area where over 1,500 stalls had been built and ready for use, named Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu Electrical/Electronic Ultra-Modern Market, Agboedo, Nnewi within Nwanyi Imo axis.
He said it had not been easy for the traders to leave their present site (old site) as there had been a legal battle between the landlords and the Nnewi North Council Area over the traders relocation.
He said that the situation had resulted in division among the traders who now sing discordant tunes over the relocation.
“Some us are on the side of the government while some are on the side of the landlords. But looking at where we are (the old site), the government said its reason is to decongest the road and we see reason with government because there is always traffic hold up there. The old site no longer accommodates us. It is too small for our business. That is why we thank the Nnewi North Council Area for giving us the new site, believing that the government will come and help us to relocate.
“That place is now ready for use, but it is not within our powers to move. That is why we appeal to Anambra State government to use its powers to move us to the new site, “ Pastor Esione pleaded.
He also appealed to Anambra and Federal governments to give attention to an erosion site near 100 Foot Road, which he said, had been rapidly advancing to motorcycle spare parts section of the Nkwo Nnewi market “and our new site stands between motorcycle and motor spare parts section of the market.”
But one of the landlords, Chief Boniface Agupusi, and his brother, Joseph Agupusi, chairman, Okpuno Village, Ebenator Uruagu, unanimously declared the claims of the traders as a lie. They said some of the traders were only brainwashed by their leaders to vacate their present business area to relocate to the permanent site.
They claimed that the landlords told the leaders of the traders that it was negotiated, and not by force.
They said the landlords had never made it compulsory that all the traders must remain on the streets, “it was rather left to the choice of individual trader either to relocate or not.”
He explained that the landlords only went to court when they discovered that the leadership of the traders intended to force them out of the street market, willy-nilly.
Promo: Ariaria market chairman commends Fidelity Bank
Okey Sampson, Aba
Ariaria International Market Traders Association (AIMATA) chairman, Chief Lucky Akubueze, has commended Fidelity Bank for remaining partners in progress with traders in the market.
Recently, Fidelity Bank held a promo in the market in which it gave out cash reward to some of the bank’s customers in the market who they said have been loyal over the years. Speaking during the ceremony held inside Ariaria Market, Chief Akubueze noted that the bank has over the years identified with the traders to the extent that they are now like partners in business. He described Fidelity Bank as one of the banks that has not only shown strong presence in the market, but has also remained committed to the wellbeing of their customers.
“Fidelity Bank has over the years identified with traders in the market to the point that they are now partners in business; showing strong commitment to the wellbeing of the traders,” he said.
He pointed out that the reward scheme of the bank was not fraudulent and called on traders to always patronize Fidelity Bank, which he state would help make their businesses grow. He commended the Federal Government for building the independent power plant in the market, which he said has made the traders to enjoy constant power supply.
Chief Akubueze equally commended the Abia State government under Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for the reconstruction of the Brass-Faulks-Ariaria-Enugu/Port Harcourt Expressway link road.
He thanked the traders for coming out en masse to vote for Dr Ikpeazu during the last governorship election and promised them more goodies.
In all, over eight customers of the bank were given cash awards ranging from N150, 000 to N500, 000.
We’ve restored peace, sacked touts in Onitsha Main Market – Ekwegbalu, chair
Jeff Amechi Agbod, Onitsha
The Chairman of Onitsha Main Market, Chief Ikechukwu Ekwegbalu has said that his one-year in office has restored peace in the markets which was into crisis before he emerged last year.
He disclosed that he stopped touts who stand along the roads of the market to dupe and extort innocent traders, adding that all manner of collection of illegal levies were stopped in the market based on the government directive.
Ekwegbalu told Sunday Sun that any tout seen extorting money from traders would be arrested and handed over to the police for prosecution, saying that sanity has returned to the main market since he came on board.
“There is peace in the market now because before I took over the leadership there was crisis between the traders, stakeholders and the then leadership, but since I came I have restored peace and mediated over some issues and carrying everybody along to ensure that peace reigns in the market.
“We have stopped all those who collect tolls and levies in the market.
We conduct prayers in the market every week, but since I came in I shifted it to once in a month because before now it made our customers who come from far who could not wait after our prayers to go to street markets to buy and go, making us to lose our customers, but now we have regained our customers,” he said.
He said that he has been working hard to ensure that the health centre built by his predecessor would be commissioned soon to enable sick traders and customers to get treatment while in the market or in case of any emergency the person would be treated at the centre.
Ekwegbalu, however, appealed to the state to come to the aid of the fire service at the main market to provide it with adequate facilities to be ready to fight fire any time, stressing that they lacked vehicles, water and other equipment to perform promptly in case of fire outbreak in the market and other places close to the market.
“We have adequate security in the market, the chairman of security at the market Chief Chinenye Ihenko (Okpompi) and his team are doing well and we commend them and urged them to continue because without them our goods are not secured,” he said.
International Centre for Commerce gets new constitution
International Centre For Commerce also known as Balogun Business Association (BBA), Lagos International Trade Complex, has unveiled a new constitution after 20 years. The last constitution of the association was written in 1998 when the traders were still doing business in the Lagos Island. Speaking at the unveiling of the new constitution, the president of the association, Chief Tony Obi, said that the constitution was started by the immediate past President of the association, Chief Alex Odunnukwe in 2015.
According to him, his processor set up a nine-man constitution drafting committee to bring a new document for the running of the association since the one that was drafted in 1998 has become obsolete.
He said that a lot of forces fought against the new constitution, but he had to put his foot down to ensure that the dream of the majority of the traders becomes a reality.
He said that all the relevant organs in the association made contributions in the drafting of the constitution.
Also speaking, a member of the Constitution Drafting Committee, Comrade Ubah Amaechi, said that before now, there has been confusion on the position of the president of the association in the board of trustees, as well as the tenure of the executives of the association. Amaechi said that with the new constitution, everything is now in black and white.
He said that going by the new constitution, the president, secretary and treasurer of the association are ordinary members of the Board of Trustees, but that their membership expires immediately their tenure in the executive elapses.
He also said that going by the new constitution, the executives of the association have two terms of three years each.
He said with the new constitution, the association can now move forward since it has overcome the constitutional challenges that have been holding it back.
Also contributing, one of the pioneers of the association, Ogbuefi Emma Otunabo described the constitution as one of the best things to have happened to the association.
According to him, the constitution clearly spelt out roles of all the organs in the administration of the market.
He said with the constitution, the problems of who is to do what has been settled, adding that from now onwards, it would be forward ever and backward never for the traders.
He commended the immediate past President, Chief Alex Odunnukwe for the courage and wisdom in setting up the constitution drafting committee and the incumbent president, Chief Tony Obi, for seeing that the constitution becomes a reality in spite of pressures from different quarters.