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Mixed reactions trail relocation of Imo automobile market

…You must go — GOVT; No, give us C of O before we relocate — TRADERS

By Chinonso Alozie

Owerri—The Imo state government and the automobile car dealers in the state, have continued to disagree over the planned relocation of the market from Aba road to Agbala in Owerri North Local Government Area of the state.

Some of the members of the automobile car dealers who spoke to Vanguard, yesterday in Owerri, said that they would accept the planned relocation, with the condition that the Imo state government would first give to them certificate of occupancy of the new place.

According to the chairman, Board of Trustees of the traders’ association, Mr. Rufus Osueke, “Initially when government moved us from the former place, at Egbu road, what the government told us was that we were going to our permanent place.

“And when we requested for certificate of occupancy from the Imo state government, they gave us allocation paper with the assurance that other documents will be provided and up till now, nothing has come.

“We came to Aba road and developed it and I want to tell you  that each of us did not spend less than N20miilon. The government did not put anything to assist us.

“All the things you see here are by our personal efforts. Recently, the government asked us to relocate again to Agbala in Owerri North LGA. We are not against it but we asked the government to do certain things.

“That we need C of O for any land the government will give to us. Another surprising thing, is that when the government took us to the new place they want us to go to, the land was not up to 10 hectares as claimed by the government.”

Reacting, the secretary to the government of Imo state, Mr. George Etche, said that there was no going back on the planned relocation of the automobile market to where he described as their “permanent” site.

According to Etche, “These automobile dealers are obstinate about the whole thing. The government is asking them to go to their permanent site and they are asking government to fence the area, build schools, dig boreholes, put electricity.

“For God’s sake, the government cannot do everything for them. The government cannot give them C of O when they have not developed the place.

“And if they continue to stay there,  the government will consider it  an affront because we  are ready to relocate them.”

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