With over a million shops, Alaba International Market claims to be Nigeria`s biggest employer of labour.
The Public Relations Officer of Alaba International Market, Maduabuchi Adiukwu, who made the claim said that when people talk about job creation and contribution to national econmy, the market is first among equals.
According to him, with over one million shops in the market ,it is the biggest employer of labour in the country. The image maker of the international market said that apart from employing secretaries , accountants and other staff, most of the shop owners have apprentices who they are also grooming.
He said that most times government doesn’t appreciate and recognize the role that the market is playing in the country. Adiukwu said that it is high time government recognized the important role the market is playing in the country and began to give it its due. He said that has been the mindset in government quarters that traders are not contributing anything to the growth of the country.
He said some people have gone ahead to say that what traders are doing is mere recycling of wealth or even helping foreigners to sell their goods in Nigeria
He pointed out that this was because of this negative mindset with regards to traders that government doesn’t carry them along in their policies and programmes.
“The statistics of shops that we conducted in Alaba International Market showed that we have over a million lock-up shops. In all these shops ,you cannot get less than four people .That is the shop owner ,secretary, sales boy or girl and at least an apprentice . Some even have up to seven apprentices, including staff. I doubt if there is any other place in the country that you can get this number of people .That clearly tells you that Alaba International market is the biggest employer of labour in the country .With these people being kept busy going by the saying that an idle mind is the devil`s workshop we are also helping in curbing insecurity in the country. But with all this ,we are being treated as people who are not there. We are being treated as people who are not important .That is why government doesn’t put us in their policies and programmes”.
He said that if the government begins to give traders their due ,they would be encouraged to be doing more for the country.
According to him , the government must recognize that traders are a vital part of the society and should be carrying them along in their policies.
He said that in other climes , the government usually encourages traders dealing in various products to go into manufacturing of the products that they are dealing in.
He pointed out that Alaba International market has over 16 sections.
He said that if the sections are given incentives to go into the manufacturing of what they are importing and selling ,Nigeria would become an industrialized nation sooner than later.