REPORTER: UCHE NDEKE
The Anambra State House of Assembly has passed a resolution calling on the executive arm of government to commence the construction of affordable mini markets within Awka, the state capital.
This, according to the law makers, is to control the menace of street trading and associated effects in the capital city.
The sponsor of the motion, Mr. Henry Mbachu representing Awka South Constituency One, expressed regret that the economic hardship in the country had continued to plunge many people into extreme poverty as many could not afford renting lockup shops leading them to roadside trading.
Mr. Mbachu noted that the practice had no doubt defaced the aesthetics of the city and also exposed the traders to dangers of road mishap,
He urged the relevant government authorities to take measures to discourage the menace.
According to the lawmaker, though the effect of urbanization has recently increased the influx of people into the state capital, there is the need for the government to direct the Awka Capital Territory Development Agency (ACTDA) and other relevant authorities to commence the construction of local markets in designated places in order to provide alternative to those being chased out of the streets.
Supporting the motion, the member representing Ihiala Constituency II, Mr. Golden Ilo; his Onitsha North II counterpart, Mr. Patrick Okafor; and the member representing Ihiala Constituency 1, Mr. Jude Ngobili, said the markets when constructed, would give the traders respite as the cost of getting shops had become so unaffordable to many.
For his part, the member representing Ayamelum Constituency, Mr. Benard Udemezue, noted that since the Governor Chukwuma Soludo led administration desired a serene state capital for the people, it behoved on the government to make alternative provisions for the traders who were also providing the residents with needed items rather than chase them away without proper arrangements.
Other respondents, including Mr. Emmanuel Nwafor of Orumba South Constituency, Mr. Paul Obu representing Orumba North and Mr. Tony Moubike of Aguata Constituency II, said the construction of mini markets would enable government to have access to the little revenues which the traders had been paying into individual pockets.
The Speaker, Mr. Somtochukwu Udeze before reading out the final resolution, noted that it was also important for wealthy individuals and corporate organizations to assist by constructing affordable shops and mini markets as Government could not undertake it alone.
The House adjourned plenary to Thursday 8th February 2024.
EDITED BY CHUKWUBUIKE MADU