– Urges State Government To Implement Law Banning Street Trading

The Abia State House of Assembly on Monday, 27th May, 2020 moved against owners of abandoned shops at the Ubani Ibeku Modern Market over the non usage of the allocated shops.

The House while entertaining a Matter or Urgent Public Importance brought by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji, frowned at the attitude of some of the shop owners who have refused to make use of their allocated shops.

Speaking while presenting the Matter, the Speaker said that the non usage of the Market built by the Abia State Government has turned almost every house on the streets of Umuahia to a warehouse.

Rt Hon Chinedum Enyinnaya Orji further said several Petitions that have been laid before him indicate that a majority of the traders who had their shops demolished during the relocation exercise by the State Government were not allocated shops at the Ubani Market.

In his words, “They said that some of them that had shops in those markets that were demolished were not given any shops as alternative.

“If you go to Ubani Ibeku, you will find out that only about 50 per cent of the shops are in active use while the others have remained under lock and key without being put to any use, meanwhile people own such shops.

“The essence of moving those markets was to end street trading. It is now time for us to unravel the owners of those locked up shops and give them to those who will make use of them.

“I am appealing to my Dear Colleagues to help in this matter because Umuahia is the Capital city of the State, and it is good I bring this issue to your notice on the Floor of the House so it can be discussed”, he said.

The Member representing Umuahia North State Constituency, Hon. Kelechi Onuzuruike, in his support to the Matter, urged the House to look into the case critically.

“Mr Speaker you have spoken the mind of every Umuahian. Mr Speaker, I had cause to visit the Ubani Market during this Lockdown, and I saw some shops that had been locked up for over a year.

“Mr Speaker, the entire Umuahia North has spoken through you and we are saying that the needful be done, and urgently, too. Let some punitive measures be meted out to the owners of the locked up shops so that it will serve as a deterrent to others who may be thinking of doing the same in the future”, he said.

The Member representing Umuahia South State Constituency, Hon Barr Jerry Uzosike, on his part urged the House to apply all the necessary legislative instrument and political will to arrest the situation.

“It seems to me that in all the streets of Umuahia you see any new building, there must be a warehouse.

“Mr Speaker, there is an urgent need to find the political will to move these traders back to Ubani. What happened was that most of these traders moved into Ubani while some refused to move, and because nothing happened to those who refused to move, people who ordinarily needed to go to Ubani now purchase at the metropolis.

“There is need for the political will to move these traders back to Ubani”, he said.

The Speaker, while thanking the Members for their contributions maintained that the shops were hijacked by non traders.

“It is my considered opinion that we call on the State Government to implement the Law banning street trading in Abia State”, he said.

After series of contributions from Lawmakers, the House mandated its Committee on Trade and Investment to investigate and find out the real owners of the shops in a bid to ascertain whether those people that paid for them actually got the shops at Ubani Market.

The House also called on the State Government to implement the Law banning street trading in the State.

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