From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
Governor of Abia State Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has directed the chairman of Ariaria International Market, Elder Emeka Igara, and his team to ensure that all the blocked drainages in the market were desilted within seven days.
Ikpeazu, who gave the directive over the weekend at the end of a crucial meeting with some selected stakeholders of the market in Aba, said the aim was to stop further flooding of the market.
The governor, represented by the Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Chief John Okiyi-Kalu, said he was disturbed by the news of the recent effect of flood on traders in Ariaria following torrential rains in the past weeks.
Ikpeazu, lamenting the attitude of some traders and residents of the area in dumping refuse in drainages in and around the market, instead of government-approved dumping sites, disclosed that his administration already had plans in place to bring a lasting solution to the perennial flooding in the market.
On the ongoing first phase of reconstruction of shops at A Line of the market, Okiyi-Kalu said it was all part of the plans by the state government to remodel Ariaria International Market to a modern market and appealed to the traders to exercise patience as the state government strives to resolve the bottlenecks causing delays in the speedy completion of the job.
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The commissioner who assured the traders that the ongoing reconstruction of shops at A Line was dear to the governor of the state, equally assured them that no original shop owner was going to lose his or her shop(s).
“What slowed down the job at A Line, which effectively commenced in April 2022 are the rains. July is always a difficult time in construction but we are going ahead with the blocks while hoping to return to the road aspect as soon as we have better weather conditions for the implementation of rigid pavement technology.”
The commissioner urged the traders to exercise patience with the government, stressing that the governor was interested in delivering a world-class market infrastructure in Ariaria.
The chairman of Ariaria International Market, Emeka Igara thanked the governor for his concern and prompt action in ameliorating the sufferings of the traders occasioned by flooding.
He assured that the leadership of the market would deliver on the mandate given to them.
He commended the government for setting up a monitoring team to supervise the desilting of the blocked drains and promised to ensure that they deliver within the stipulated time frame.