Governor Aliyu Wamakko
International Business Finance Corporation of Nigeria (IBFC) is to partner the Sokoto State Government in constructing the Illela International Border Market at the cost of N33 billion.
Speaking at the inauguration of the international border market project office in Sokoto Thursday, the state Governor, Aliyu Wamakko, said the state government considered the border market a means of economic transformation of the people of the state, hence its determination to leave no stone unturned to see its actualisation.
He noted that the project was initiated 30 years ago by a former governor in the Second Republic, Shehu Kangiwa, lamenting that the previous administrations in the state had made efforts to actualise the project but without success.
Wamakko, who spoke through the Commissioner for Commerce, Aliyu Shehu Achida, said with the foresight of the present administration, the project would soon become a reality.
He stated that the project was expected to be completed within two years.
The governor called on the consultants to pursue the project with all seriousness in order to complete it on time.
In his remarks, the Chairman, IBFC Nigeria, Dr. Ousseni Elibony Banao, said the international border market was planned to be a centre of commerce not only for Sokoto people, but also for the neigbouring countries-Niger Republic, Benin Republic and Togo, who for long have been yearning for an enabling environment for trade and commerce.
He stressed that the market would be a dynamic one aimed at transforming the economic landscape of the state and Nigeria, adding that it would create jobs, foreign exchange earnings and promote industrialisation.
The chairman of the company, who spoke through the technical consultant of the project, Saidu Engineering Nigeria Limited, Mr. Saidu Garba, explained that the firm would construct 16,000 shops which cover 79 hectares of land.
He stated that the project comprised the main market complex, abattoir, automobile market for car dealers, building materials, heavy duty vehicles and equipment, livestock market and mechanic workshop.
Others include 800 ware houses, 40 cold rooms, 18 restaurants,
clinic, police station, fire station, 80 toilets, administration
building, three banks, 15 kilometres access roads, water drainages, mini
sewage plant, 15km telecommunications ducts, 33/11 KVA electrical power substations among others.
Garba explained that the company made projection of N41.4 billion that
would be generated from the sales of 16,000 shops while the estimated
projection from services would be N7.8 billion annually.
He said IBFC Nigeria would provide the N33 billion required for the
project and operate the international border market for 10 years
before handing it over to the state government.
"We are of the belief that this revenue profile could be achieved
within seven years. And with this revenue profile, the market can
fully recoup its cost of N33 billion within this period," he added.