By DONALD ARJI
LAGOS — TRADERS in the popular Ladipo auto parts market closed down, yesterday, by Lagos State Government on Monday have started counting their losses, saying they are losing at least N100 billion daily.
Traders who spoke to Vanguard yesterday, lamented that they were already feeling the pains of the closure as they could no longer meet their obligations to their families.
Speaking, Secretary of the Aguiyi Ironsi Traders Union, Mr. Christain Igbaunam told Vanguard that his members would be losing over N100billions per day to the closure and lamented that efforts to meet with the Lagos State Task force on Environmental and Special Offenses (Enforcement) Units, to negotiate the opening of the market had proved abortive.
He said: “We have over 15,00 registered members. Individual members make not less than N10 million daily. On the average, members will be losing over N100billions on a daily basis to the closure of the market.”
He denied allegations that their security guards arrested were armed robbers, saying “those allegations made against our security guards are false. They were not armed with guns and were not against the state officials. They were only misunderstood. These are security guards put in place by the association to arrest criminal activities in the market. I am pleading for their release.”
A trader who spoke on condition of anonymity, said “whenever I offload my containers, I make not less than 15millions. Just imagine what I will be losing now that the market has been shut.”
Another who gave his name as Jude Tobechukwu, pleaded for the re-opening of the market, saying “we are losing billions of Naira to the closure of this market. Today’s (yesterday) is the second day that we have been shut out. I have lost over N10 millions since the closure. That is a huge sum of money even those in government do not want to lose.”
One Okolie Amadi, claimed his wife was in the hospital for a kidney transplant, lamenting that “I was hoping to use this week to look for money for the transplant. My wife is lying helpless in the hospital awaiting a kidney transplant due to lack of money. I came to the market to see if I can raise some money for her operations only to see that armed mobile police men have barricaded the entrance to the market. I am pleading to the state government to have piety on us.”