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Edo govt begins urban renewal exercise in Benin

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By Simon Ebegbulem

BENIN—Edo State Government, yesterday, commenced the enforcement of its “Operation Clean Up” Benin City by prohibiting street trading in the city.

The task force members who cleared the popular Lagos Street, Ring Road, Oba Market, Ibiwe, Ebo Street, Omo Street, Mission Road, Iguisi, led by Tony Adun and Yusuf Osagie, appealed to security agents to assist, as some of the beneficiaries of what they described as the “madness” on Ring Road and Lagos Street were threatening them with arms.

Over the years, Lagos Street, Ring Road and other adjourning streets have become impassable due to street trading, filth and activities of commercial bus drivers.

Following the state government’s resolve to clear the area of the menace, members of the task force commenced operations about 10p.m., Sunday night, and residents of Benin City woke up to see a new environment.

Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, who reacted to the development,  urged the affected persons to utilize the shops in the markets as government will no longer tolerate what he described as a “disorganised Benin City.”

His words, “You wil will recall that about a month ago, we had a stakeholders meeting where we invited residents from the streets around the King square, Ebo Street, Tebite, Ugboagbe and others. We told them that it will not be business as usual and there was need to clean up Benin City. In doing that we also agreed that the existing markets have enough spaces for our traders. The governor inspected Oba market and we found that half of the shop there are unoccupied.”

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