ABUJA- The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Tuesday in Abuja has insisted not to reopened Garki International market until traders comply with its sanitation guidelines.
Mr Ikharo Attah, the Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to the FCT Minister, stated this when he visited the market along with the Director Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Osilama Braimah to reassess the cleanliness of the environment.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the AEPB sealed Garki market over poor sanitation and inability of the traders to take necessary measures to keep to the desired standard set by the FCTA.
The minister’s aide said that despite the closure of the market since Friday, May 5, there were still refuse in different locations within the market.
Attah noted that the minister of FCT, Malam Muhammad Bello wants a clean and safe Abuja, therefore, necessary steps must be put in place to uphold the standard.
“The present stage of Garki market is a disaster waiting to happen, we have gone round the market to check the level of sanitation but its still bad.
” We sealed it since last Friday May 5, so by now there is supposed to be some signs of seriousness on the part of traders.
“The Abuja Environmental Protection Board AEPB has acted in line with the Ministerial directives, any part of Abuja either market, school or office must be kept clean.”
Collaborating, the AEPB boss, Braimah said the board was keen on reopening the market but was not satisfied with the level of hygiene.
“This is about my fourth visit to the market, but it is still in a deplorable state, very filthy.
” We are planning to reopen the market but looking at what is on the ground it is not possible, hopefully it will be in few days to come.”
Reacting, A tailor in the market, Umar Hamza, confirmed that the market had been shut in the last five days due to uncleanliness, which he pleaded for mercy.
“AEPB shut the market about five days ago, we pleaded for more time in order to clean and evacuate the wastes.
” The wastes have accumulated due to the traders refusal to pay the current service charge impose by Abuja Market Management Limited.
” We are appealing to FCT Administration to feel our pains, We have lost huge amount of money in the last few days over the closure.”
Also, a trader in the market, Mr Daniel Kali said: “We have even started the clean up of the market, all the refuse dumps have been reduced to a little as a result of our clean up exercise.
“Why we stop was because of Court issue, you know some of our people went to Court because they consider the service charge placed on us to be too much.
” So they want Abuja Market Management Limited to reduce the charges, but I can confirm to you that they have gone to the Court to withdraw the case.” (NAN)