By Paulinus Nnah
In line with his administration’s policy to rid Uyo city centre of roadside trading, the executive chairman of Uyo Local Government Area, Elder Imoh Okon, has said that the LGA would soon make provisions for stalls in Akpan Andem Market to be allotted to wayside traders in the Metropolis.
Speaking this morning in an AKBC TV live programme, Democracy 45, Elder Okon who also spoke on various issues of national and state import, and raising concern over what he termed as “suppression of the less-privileged in Akpan Andem Market,” explained that such area which accommodates “the entire Nigeria” demands his focus.
“One area I want the public to take note is the fact that over a thousand shops have been collected by the so-called well-to-do and people who have people in the corridors of power without putting them to use, thereby preventing the peasant traders from utilizing those shops till date.
“As we speak, in March we issued them a 21-day notice, after that we issued seven days’ notice, after which we gave them more two months. As I am talking to you now, from Tuesday next week, all the owners of shops in Akpan Andem Market who have refused to put them to use will have their allotments revoked by Uyo Local Government and reclaim those shops.
“The market is our property, and we will allocate them to the peasant traders on the streets who are ready to occupy and put them to use. The traders on Etuk Street, and those on Udo Umana Street who are ready to put the market to full use will be given allotment. A situation whereby the market is turned into a kind of ghost market is unacceptable.”
While attributing the peaceful process of selection of the new paramount ruler of Uyo LGA to “the function of goodwill of Uyo people, and also the leadership that we’ve offered,” Imoh Okon roundly lauded stakeholders for not throwing up dissenting opinions during the process, saying “so, that’s a plus.”
Highlighting on mentorship which he described as his number one point of empowerment in his blueprint, he hinted that his administration has recruited eighty-two mentors from Uyo LGA, and that the local government authorities are in the process of inviting all the mentees at various levels; beginning from those in primaries five and six, and above. “We want to now group them section by section, field by field, and attach them to their various mentors so that they will be able to do well,” he noted.
The Uyo LGC boss further informed that his administration has improved tremendously on staff welfare, adding that it also provides a cordial working atmosphere for all. He also pointed out that the council was doing its best to aid in the payment of school fees for students in tertiary institutions, while promising to give students of Uyo decent who are in higher institutions their pride of place by paying up their bursaries before the year runs out.