By: Wisdom Acka
FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello has approved the reopening of the Olajumoke Akinjide Shopping Arcade, Dutse-Alhaji, Abuja.
The market was closed four days ago to pave way for the general clean-up, following extreme contraventions, which include offensive refuse collection and disposal, blockage of drainages, and indiscriminate construction of attachments at different corners, among other unwholesome activities.
Senior Special Assistant to FCT Minister on Monitoring, Inspection, and Enforcement, Comrade Ikharo Attah, who led the clean-up exercise made the announcement and added that full market activities would resume on Friday.
Attah, who noticed some bleeding points advised shop owners to prevent hawkers and petty traders from erecting attachments around their shops.
He also warned the market management to desist from allocating parts of staircases and other corners that affect free movement within the market.
“A few minutes ago, the Minister of the FCTA, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello, directed that upon the intensive clean-up by the traders and management and every stakeholder here, the Jumoke Shopping complex is reopened with effect from Friday morning so that the traders can commence trading,” he disclosed.
“The clean-up is satisfactory enough to ensure the safety and compliance with the AEPB, as well as the Urban and Regional Planning rules. The Minister wishes the traders well in what they will be doing during the booming December season and expects to see heavy compliance,” Attah emphasized.
Some of the shop owners, who expressed excitement over the development, commended the FCTA for its intervention with a pledge to ensure the complex retains its original building plans.
A cosmetic dealer at the market, Alhaji Nura Umar while appreciating the FCTA for heeding their appeal to reopen the market said, “Initially we felt bad when the market was first shut down, but at the end of the day we are the first beneficiaries of this clean and sane environment.
The Vice Chairman of the market, Mrs. Christiana Eze, blamed the market managers for allocating every available corner and space to petty traders, however, assured that going forward the traders will own the market and protect it from all forms of contraventions.
“The truth is that the management caused us all these problems. They are the ones who allocate space for as little as N5000 or N10000 not minding the obstructions it will cause to the market,” she reiterated.