By Akpaeva Rita
FOR cement dealers at the popular Odun-Ade building materials market in Lagos State, itâ€™s no business as usual as they have started feeling the impact of demolished structures by the State Government in the ongoing expansion of Orile -Badagry Expressway.
In a survey conducted, Tuesday, some of the cement dealers who spoke to vanguard, lamented: â€œWe have family to feed from the money we get from the business but now things are so difficult for us.â€
â€œThe demolition has been taking toll on our businesses seriously , thus resulting in low patronage by buyers on a daily basis.Â With our stores lost to the demolition, we have been standing outside sometimes in the cold and rain waiting for established customers and prospective ones who often find it difficult to locate where we are,â€ said Mr. Afolabi.
He appealed to Governor Fashola to come to their rescue and relocate them to another area of the State.
Mr. Tunde, who was also affected by the demolition, said: â€œI was shocked when I found out that my store was destroyed and I had no where to pack my products.â€
â€œI sell different brands of cement such as Dangote, WAPCO, Flour Millsâ€™Burham Cement, etc but as you can see for the past three weeks, patronage is low-keyed,â€ he said.
He further disclosed that the price of the commodity ranges between N1,700 per bag for Dangote while other brands are being sold for N 1650 and N1,550 per bag.
He said that government should encourage local manufacturers of cement through appropriate policy and incentives so that they can produce adequately to meet local demand.
â€œCement importation is not a better option for the economy; government should ensure that all cement are being manufactured in the country and not importing from other countries, and they should try to make things easy for investors in the sector,â€ he said.The demolition has paralysed business activities at Coker, Agric Building and Plumbing Materials Market. Mr. Umeh Umeahijibu, 39, from Imo State is the Assistant Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the market. He says the government should try and help to provide alternative place for the traders whose shops have been demolished. â€œEven those that were not affected are going through the same pains, â€œ he revealed.
Chief Obi Ogbuagbu, the Secretary of Board of Trustees, Agric Coker Building Plumbing Materials Dealers Association described Governor Raji Fasholaâ€™s mission to make Lagos an El Dorado as a noble one but philosophized that necessary measures should be taken to give succour to the people that were affected by the demolition. â€œMy people are moving to the new market in Abule-Ado but we donâ€™t know whether Abule-Ado will be affected.â€