Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has approved the commencement of phased redevelopment of Ariaria International Market, Aba, from Sunday, 5th September 2021.
The development was made known in a statement released on Sunday by the Honorable Commissioner for Information, of the State, John Okiyi Kalu,
According to Kalu, the administration has made several efforts to reconstruct the 47-year old market to tackle its age-long structural issues with many of the shops as well as provide the necessary modern infrastructure to deal with the perennial flooding challenges to traders.
However, he revealed that after a final consultative meeting with stakeholders of Ariaria International Market on Tuesday, 24th August 2021, Governor Ikpeazu approved the phased redevelopment of the market as follows:
The statement said, “Traders currently doing business along A-Line, C-Line and Medical Line are to relocate from their shops on or before the close of business on Saturday, 4th September 2021 to enable the commencement of work the following day, Sunday, 5th September 2021.
“Also, those affected are to temporarily relocate to Ekumi Shopping plaza or other available shops within the market.
“The developers have committed to completing the required work in the phase which includes the establishment of proper drainage channels within the affected lines, construction of new shops and parks, before the first week of December 2021.
“Abia state government will through subsequent press releases publish the names of existing shop allottees who are guaranteed of their return to the reconstructed shops after completion of the first phase. It is important to state that no existing shop allottee will lose his/her shop after the work.
“Trading activities are expected to continue in other lines that are not affected by the first phase of the redevelopment project while the appointed developers, Messrs Blessed Henkel International Company, are expected to work with the market committee and security agents to ensure full security within the market during the period of redevelopment.
“Government wishes to assure traders that it will work to ensure minimal disruptions to trading activities while executing this project which has now been made more urgent and crucial because of the recent flooding forecast from the Nigeria Meteorological Agency, NiMet.
“We will also not in any way tolerate any attempt by any individual or group to disrupt the planned work as we have consulted widely enough and given enough grace period, long before now, for alternative solutions which never yielded any meaningful result,” the statement said.
He further noted that the Governor is expected to personally hand back new allocation papers to all the existing allottees on Friday, 5th December 2021.
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