Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia has assured old traders at Ariaria International Market and Ahia Ohuru that his administration will allocate shops to them in the remodelled markets.
A statement by Commissioner for Trade and Investment, John Okiyi-Kalu, said Mr Ikpeazu gave the assurance in Aba while interacting with the executives and stakeholders in the two major markets,
The governor also assured traders of Ariaria International and Ngwa road markets of his administration’s determination to remodel the markets to meet international standards.
Earlier this month, Mr Ikpeazu’s government and traders at the Ariaria Market in Aba engaged in a war of words following the delay in reconstructing a part of the market.
The traders accused Mr Ikpeazu of delaying the reconstruction of the affected part of the market to give new shops to his cronies as parting gifts.
However, Mr Ikpeazu said his government would ensure the traders returned to their shops and did business in a safer and more conducive environment, which was why it began remodelling the markets.
The governor, represented by Mr Okiyi-Kalu, said his administration had awarded a contract to channel storm water flooding the project area in Ariaria International market through Omuma Road, currently under reconstruction.
Mr Ikpeazu also said he had taken further steps to address double taxation in all markets.
The governor charged the traders to ensure the sustenance of peace in the markets, warning against sabotaging the efforts of the state government.
Mr Ikpeazu appealed to traders displaced by the ongoing remodelling efforts to be patient with the slow pace of work in the markets which he attributed to the rainy season.
He promised a speedy pace of work as soon as the dry season began and disclosed that his administration provided alternative shops for the displaced traders within their market.
Some traders who spoke earlier at the meeting expressed concern over losing their shops and excessive taxation of the traders by the Abia State Board of Internal Revenue (ABIR).
They also complained of flooding of construction areas, including the slow pace of work by the contractors, among other issues.