By ANAYO OKOLI
UMUAHIA—DETERMINED to decongest Umuahia and give it the look of a modern capital city, Abia State government has expressed its determination to relocate all the markets in the heart of the city to nearby surroundings.
To this end, the government has inaugurated a seven-man committee to see to final realisation this year of the Ubani Ibeku Modern Market where the present Umuahia Main Market will be moved to.
Already, the Timber Market has been moved to Ahiaeke area on the Ikot Ekpene-Umuahia road and the old motor spare parts market has also been moved to Ohiya on the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway.
Inaugurating the committee at Government House, Umuahia, the Governor Theodore Orji said the committee was to raise money for the completion of the market as well as allocate shops equitably to traders.
Orji however told the committee that traders who have shops presently at the main market should be considered first during the allocation of shops.
He warned them against allowing those who have money to buy all the shops to the disadvantage of present shop owners.
Orji who disclosed that the new market was about 80% completed, announced that 2013 is the terminal date for the relocation of the main market to the new site, and urged the committee to take the assignment seriously.
The governor also advised the committee to engage the traders and carry them along to enable them make their own input in to ensure a smooth relocation.
Orji noted that the government has made tremendous progress at the new market as about 5,000 stores have been built and that light has also been connected there.
The Governor told the traders that the relocation exercise was not punitive or targeted at any person, and explained that it was aimed at enhancing the aesthetics of Umuahia, the capital city of the state.
esponding on behalf of the committee members, the chairman, Chief Ebenezer Offor thanked the governor for giving them the assignment and assured that the committee woulf work assiduously to meet the target.