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In Lagos, Ogba Retail Market Traders Oppose Govt’s Proposed Re-development

The new Proposed Ogba Shopping Mall

The new Proposed Ogba Shopping Mall

The Present Ogba Retail Market

By Ruth Bamidele, Lagos

…It’s a step in right direction –Ojodu LCDA Boss

Shop Owners at the Ogba Retail Market, Lagos have kicked against the proposed re-development of the market by the Ojodu Local Council Development Area.

The Present Ogba Retail Market

The Present Ogba Retail Market

African Examiner gathered that the LCDA is preparing to demolish and rebuild the market into an ultra modern mall that will serve more communities within the Ojodu development area.

However cross section of the traders and shop owners who spoke to our correspondent appealed to the authority to shelve the plans due to the untold hardship that the demolition will cause them even as they expressed fears that going by the Nigeria factor many of them who are old owners may not receive allocation when the new shops are being allocated.

Mrs. Akinsanya, one of the market leaders who spoke with African Examiner, said the re-development of the market is a misplaced priority on the part of the government, which she said, has other pressing responsibilities like roads, health, education, e.t.c, to discharge to the people.

She particularly cited the deplorable state of the Abiodun Jagun road that leads to the market, and said that such road project is what the government should be concentrating its resources on even as she criticized the (Iyaloja) for allegedly conniving with the council officials without consulting other shop owners.

Akinsanya vowed that all the shop owners are ready to fight for their shops just as he pleaded with the Local government authority to reconsider its decision.

The (Iyaloja) head of the market of the market was not available to comment and react to Mrs Akinsaya accusation at the time of filing this report.

On her own part, another leader of the market Mrs. Adeoba said: “The Ogba retail market has been created since 1985 and we have been trading here for a long time, where does the government want us to go if they pull down these shops, this is where we make our living. People have not been coming to buy since we are here, but in the past two year people are now aware of the market and the patronage is improving, now the government wants to send us parking.”

Temmy, a sales girl in the retail market noted that the proposed re-development will affect both the shop owners and sales girls who do not have other means of livelihood.

The new Proposed Ogba Shopping Mall

The Proposed Ogba Shopping Mall

Taiwo, an undergraduate student who is working as a sales girl due to the ASUU strike, said the government is insensitive to the plight of the citizens “if they are thinking of demolishing markets at this period when people are struggling to make end meets.”  Taiwo called on the government to end the ASUU strike and discharge all other duties instead of demolishing markets.

Meanwhile at the time of filing this report, the Chairman of the Ojodu LCDA, Hon. Julius Oloro was not available to comment on the proposed demolition and reconstruction of the retail market but African Examiner’s correspondent spoke with his Chief of Staff Hon. Oyewole Awe.

Speaking on behalf of the Chairman, Hon. Awe explained that the re-construction is necessary because the Ogba retail market was initially built to serve only the people of Ogba community but due to the rapid development and expansion of Ogba and other areas like Oke-Ira and Omole, it becomes necessary to upgrade the market to a modern shopping mall that will continently serve the people of the area.

His word “Arrangement has been made to assist those who are affected so that their businesses can continue. The plan is to start demolishing the shops at the back of the market, the shop owners will be moved to the front. Any shop owner that does not get a shop in the front will be given money to rent another shop.”

Speaking on the Abiodun Jagun road that leads to the market, he said that the road is not neglected, but has been repaired two times within this year stressing further that the government is planning a total solution to the deplorable state of the road by constructing permanent drainage system.

Hon. Oyewole assured that the LCDA would ensure that present shop owners are considered when it’s time to let out the new shopping mall after construction. He thus encouraged them to present their papers showing ownership of the present shop to enable government consider them when the new ones are being allotted.

-Ruth Bamidele, African Examiner

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