The Kajuru Local Â Government Area in Kaduna State is building a N120 million agro_market at Kasuwan_Magani, according to its Chairman, Mr Patrick Maigari.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recentlyÂ in Kajuru, near Kaduna that the market would shore up the councilâ€™s revenue base and improve the economy of the farming population.
Maigari said that work on the modern market had reached an advanced stage and would soon be completed.
He said the market would be divided into various sections to cater for food crops, poultry, fish, honey, livestock, agricultural inputs and other commodities.
â€œThe market is expected to serve as a major meeting point between farmers and major buyers, and reduce the farmersâ€™ burden of having to travel long distances to major markets in Kaduna to seek good prices for their produce.
â€œApart from that, they will no longer be desperate to part with their goods at ridiculous prices, since there will be storage facilities and shops where such goods will be preserved,â€ he added.
Maigari said that his administration had also been concerned with the issue of security in view of the high volume of people currently movingÂ through the area to Kaduna State.
â€œA few years ago, it was difficult to move through Kajuru for fear of armed robbers, while electricity facilities were always vandalised.
â€œWe have now succeeded in mobilising a combined team of soldiers, police, members of the civil defense corps and vigilante groups to check the trend,â€ he said.
In the area of health care service, Maigari, a pharmacist, said that six health facilities had been established, while hand bore holes had been sunk in each ward to improve water quality.
The chairman said the council had also provided electricity to six localities, and constructed bridges and culverts to link many communities.
He said the council had committed N3 million to a scholarship scheme that had benefitted 200 students in the area.
Maigari said local government areas would achieve more in terms of socio_economic development if they were made autonomous.
â€œThe councils should be allowed to operate with more freedom, while the councillors, who are the legislators at that level, should be empowered to check their excesses,â€ he said.
He decried what he called â€œtoo much of scrutinyâ€ in the administration of the council by members of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, saying the development was uncalled for.
Maigari said: â€œThere are 20 ministries in the state. When I was a member of the House, we never found enough time to monitor all the ministries. But now, the whole attention is on the councils.
â€œEverything must be done to support the councils to help the masses, because they are more directly involved with them. Excessive pressure by the lawmakers is strangulating,â€ he added.
The chairman advised the lawmakers against focusing on just the Ministry of Local Government for their oversight functions, noting that other sectors were suffering neglect.
He commended Gov. Namadi Samboâ€™s resolve to complete projects initiated by his predecessor, Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi, and particularly thanked him for completing the Crossing_Maro Road to link Kajuru villages.
Maigari also lauded the governor for his policy on issues of security, which he noted, had made Kaduna State very peaceful, as well as the mass housing programme.