Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has sympathised with traders at Ariaria international market, Aba, especially those A-LINE part of the market whose shops were affected by torrential rains. He sent the sympathy message when he visited the affected traders in the market, where he addressed the traders on his government’s determination to complete the A-Line section of the market for their comfortable use. Goods worth millions of naira were destroyed in the flood, causing pain and sorrow for the traders. The Governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Chief John Okiyi Kalu expressed sadness at the losses suffered by the traders.
“We wish to express our sympathy and solidarity with traders of Ariaria International Market who were affected by the recent flooding in the market occasioned by the torrential rains of the past three days. While we obviously have no way of preventing heavy rains from falling in any of our markets, the administration undertook the ongoing remodeling of the market, starting with A-line, with new drains, road and shops elevated and aligned properly to conclusively deal with the perennial flooding challenges experienced by traders since inception of the market.”
The Governor directed the developer of the market, Blessed Henken International Company Limited to commence excavation and construction of a 2-metre width culvert across Faulks road from A-line, to channel storm water from the construction area to Waterside River in Aba through Faulks/Osusu Road drainage way. He also directed the extension of the ongoing reconstruction project at Omuma Road, Aba, to include connection of the wide drains to the Ifeobara area to provide alternative channel for gradient flow of storm water to the natural collection points at Waterside River.
Ikpeazu also directed the setting up of a market committee to evaluate the losses suffered by traders with a few of assisting them financially, while a 2 years tax waiver be given to all the traders affected by the ongoing remodeling of A-line in Airiaria International Market including exemption from payment of revenues collected by state and local government agents in the market.
He further disclosed that the construction of high quality shop structures in A-line will continue, stressing that needed resources have been mobilized to ensure that as soon as the rains abate construction of A-line road and associated drains will commence and conclude within the coming dry season window. The State government canvassed the understanding and support of all traders, patrons and other visitors to the market on the whole situations.
The government however, warned political actors against inciting the traders against the State government for political gains, warning that security agents have been mandated to deal decisively with anyone found in that regard.