ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- The Abia State Government has declared its intent to enforce a ban on street trading, particularly in the commercial city of Aba, starting from 2024.
Commissioner for Information, Prince Okey Kanu, made this announcement during a press briefing after the State Executive Council meeting in Umuahia.
“With all the efforts Government has made, this menace (street trading) keeps rearing its ugly head, particularly in Aba. Incidentally, most of the new roads that the government has constructed, people use them to trade, and this will not augur well for these new roads.
“There has been a lot of interface between government officials and the market authorities, and in other instances, the culprits as it were, everything has been done, but to no avail. Despite the fact that this government puts human face in its activities. By the New Year, government will go all out to enforce the law”, he said.
Kanu expressed concerns over street traders taking over many of the renovated roads in Aba, despite efforts to relocate them to various markets in the city.
He emphasized that the government would no longer tolerate this issue and would actively enforce the ban in the coming year.
“As a responsive and responsible government, this administration will keep to its promise. The Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, will keep to his promises of paying off all the outstanding pension arrears. In the coming days, we will be able to avail you information in that regard”.
Kanu also reaffirmed the state government’s commitment to clearing accumulated pension arrears before the end of the year, assuring pensioners across the state of positive developments soon.
He provided updates on ongoing road infrastructure projects, including the expansion of Ossah Road Umuahia and the Aba Port Harcourt Expressway.
Kanu highlighted the administration’s dedication to road development, citing the reconstruction of 27 roads since Governor Alex Otti assumed office.
The Commissioner for Power and Public Utilities, Ikechukwu Monday, added to the briefing, revealing that the state had installed over 1,700 solar-powered street lights in Aba and Umuahia as part of the Operation Light up Umuahia and Aba initiative.
“We started with Umuahia first, now we have moved to Aba. So, next year, we will be also moving to other communities. We want to make sure that every street and every village in Abia is lightened up. And we are replacing the conventional street lights with solar”.
Monday emphasized the environmental benefits and announced a collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Power to enhance electricity distribution in the state.
“There is a project, which is a 132 KVA-Line that is supposed to run from Umuahia to Mbalano, from Mbalano to Okigwe. This project was awarded in 2001, and it was abandoned. So, this project, when executed, would have helped to improve the power supply within that axis“, he added.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Ferdinand Ekeoma, addressed recent child theft cases, assuring affected families that security agencies were mobilized to apprehend the perpetrators.
Regarding street trading at Isigate axis of Umuahia, Ekeoma stated that efforts were underway to find a suitable relocation site before enforcing the ban.