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Abia to relocate Ariaria market to Osisioma

By The Citizen
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The Abia State Government on Tuesday said it had concluded arrangements to relocate the popular Ariaria International Market from Aba to Osisioma community, which is about one kilometre from the city.

The Head of Communications and Strategy of the development partner, Acroideation International Limited (AIL), Mr. Seyi Olufade, however, told journalists on Tuesday in Abuja that the relocation would be voluntary.

He said the state government had been in high level talks with various other organisations, some of which include the Bank of Industry, the United Nations Development Agency, Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Industrial Promotion Council as well as the ministries of Industry, Trade and Investment, and Labour and Productivity.

Olufade said the ground breaking event for the project was expected to be done next month, while the first phase would be inaugurated in December 2014.

The relocation, according to AIL, is sequel to 'advice from a former World Bank President, Paul Wolfowitz, and the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, during their visit to the market in 2005 to assess its economic potential.'

The state has already entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Acroideation to construct ultra modern workshops and warehouses on about 200 hectares of land to be structured on the build, operate and manage arrangement for 35 years.

The project, known as the Abia International Industrial City, is expected to gulp $1bn (N160bn) with estimated 200,000 jobs to be created in the process.