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Abia to complete phase one Ariaria Market re-modeling before May 29 – Kalu

Chief Okiyi Kalu

ABIA- Abia Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Chief Okiyi Kalu, has reiterated government’s commitment to complete re-modeling a set of 1,440 shops in Ariaria International Market before May 29.

Kalu made the disclosure on Saturday during a facility tour with newsmen in Abia.

He said that the set of three blocks of shops had conveniences, elevators, electronically controlled doors, and spaces for commercial banks to operate.

He said the quality of the block of shops being built in Ariaria International Market was a sample defining government’s vision of what Ariaria International Market should be.

“We are saying to administration after us that the minimal standard is what we have made the matter for.

“And that we expect they will follow this standard and deliver in phases, a standard international market for Ariaria traders,” he said.

Kalu said that the shops were enough to accommodate all displaced traders, stressing that only three out of 14 blocks on the demolished A-Line were nearing completion.

“Indeed we will have more shops than we lost by the time the 14 blocks are completed and we expect that the work will continue,” he said.

He said the project had contractual obligations which would ensure continuation of work after the Ikpeazu administration had exited.

Kalu said that the project was a Private – Public Partnership and what the government did was to support the developer through a project bank guarantee to the tune of N1.5 billion.

He said that the guarantee had a repayment process that would ensure that the project continued and money recovered.

He said that Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu had directed Ariaria Market Committee to pump out water from Ife-Obara pond to ensure the problem of flooding is overcome.

“At the moment, we are issuing allocation papers to the original owners of shops on A-Line that have fully complied with the developer.

“From second week of May, those traders whose shops are ready, can return to their shops,” he said.

He said that the market would run on a three power supply tripod that comprised supply from Ariaria Independent Power, (IPP), Aba Power Ltd and a Solar System backup.

Kalu said that the government had developed an independent security architecture for Ariaria International Market which made it one of the most secured markets around.

He said the market has a community policing project by traders, the Nigeria Police and other Security agencies in the market that secured its facilities.

He noted that the foundation laid by Ikpeazu in healthcare, education, road infrastructure, that if a brilliant man took over, could be used to deliver el-dorado in Abia.

He said that the Ariaria International Market Re-Modeling Project Implementation and Monitoring Committee had been tactically dissolved because members were meeting to share money.

He said persons in government who did not own shops on A-Line had been inundating him with requests to give them shops there which he had rejected because it was immoral.

He said that some of them even went to the length of sending hoodlums to attack him but he had not backed down. (NAN)

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