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Lagos Assembly Okays Demolition Of Ogba Retail Market

By The Rainbow
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The Lagos State House of Assembly, western Nigeria, has approved the demolition of Ogba Retail Market where there are over 500 lock-up shops.

According to a report presented by the House's Committee on Transportation, Commerce and Industry, Bisi Yusuf, and approved by the House, the demolition is to allow for the construction of a modern three-storey market complex by Ojodu Local Council Development Area of the state.

The report, obtained by P.M.NEWS and signed by all the parties involved, is sequel to a petition by the traders in the market alleging that the chairman of the local council, Mr. Julius Oloro, had ordered the demolition of the market without consulting them.

 The committee began work on the petition on 23 September, 2013.

The report, which said the chairman and the traders have now found a common ground on the issue,  also stated that when the project is completed, the prices of the shops would range from N1 million to N5 million with 25 percent rebate for previous shop owners.

The report also recommended that previous shop owners should make 20 percent down payment of the amount for a particular shop while the remaining 80 percent of the amount be spread within a period of two years without interest.

The House also agreed that the new market should accommodate even pepper, yam, fish, meat and vegetable sellers as it used to be before the demolition and reconstruction.

While stressing that necessary consideration be given to some shop owners that once bought containers in the market from the former developer of the market, the report also ordered that the sum of N150,000 should be given to shop owners that do not want to be relocated to containers in the interim, as compensation.

The committee said it observed that the market needed urgent renovation to meet the state's mega-city status.

It said the former developer of the market had already sold some spaces in the market to traders and this was the reason the traders objected to the renovation of the market.

It said that while construction is on, the traders would be relocated to a 'comfortable place' close to the market so that they could still retain their customers.

However, some of the traders who attended the session at the House on Monday disagreed with the resolution of the House concerning the market.

An ex-officio member of the market, Ola Julius, said there was no agreement between the council and the marketers concerning relocation of containers and that they cannot pay such huge amounts to purchase shops on completion.

He confirmed that they had bought the containers and spaces they were using from the previous developer, reminding that government is supposed to be a continuum.

Another trader, Adewunmi Olalekan, expressed dissatisfaction with the committee report, saying it was not the true reflection of the meetings held with the government.

Meanwhile, a member of the House, Mufutau Egberongbe, has appealed to the state governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, to urgently help to relocate tank farms in the Apapa area of the state to other parts of the state.

Egberongbe, who represents Apapa Constituency 1 at the House and also chairs the House's Committee on Physical Planning and Urban Development, alerted the governor of the danger posed by truck drivers in the affected area which he represents as a lawmaker.

The lawmaker, through a letter addressed to the governor, lamented the indiscriminate parking of trucks by drivers on bridges and highways in the Apapa Local Government Area of the state, complaining that the bridge on the Apapa Wharf Expressway is susceptible to collapse due to the dead weight it bears.

In the letter, titled Indiscriminate Parking of Trucks on Bridge and Highway in Apapa Local Government Council, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent, the lawmaker added that emissions from the parked trucks and trailers are highly hazardous to health and negate the principle of preventive health policy of the state.

The letter, which he copied the state Commissioner of Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, said  'the tank farms are combustible and should be relocated out of Apapa to the Lekki Free Trade Zone.'

He also suggested that the trailers should be parked in a holding bay to be sited along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and only come into Apapa in tens for loading.

'The train transportation should be rejuvenated, as this will take off lots of trucks/trailers on the road.'

Egberongbe urged the state government to revisit the concession of the trailer park by the Federal Government in the port and that consideration should be given to its social impact against the economic gains.