Emmanuel Ugwu, Umuahia
Tyre and heavy motor spare parts dealers in the popular Azikiwe Street Aba have commenced the construction of N1.5 billion specialised market that would take them out of the already congested commercial city to a new location on the outskirts.
The state government was already bent on relocating most of the market clusters out of the centre of the bustling commercial city to free it from encumbrances in the ongoing efforts at urban renewal.
But the traders under the aegis of Aba Heavy Motor Parts and Tyre Sellers Association (AHMPATSA) said that they would not wait for government to take them by surprise with forceful eviction hence their decision to build their own market at Alaoji.
To give effect to the construction of the market with capacity for 1,200 shops, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed with AHMPATSA, Unity Bank, the project financiers and Logistics De-Luke Ltd, the contractors.
Speaking at the ceremony, the chairman of board of trustees (BoT) of AHMPATSU, Chief Phillip Ezekwem said that said that the dream for a specialised market for trye and heavy motor spare parts dealers started in 1994 and with the signing of the MoU , “the journey is coming to an end“.
“Our problem is over after signing the paper works as work would commence immediately,” he said, assuring that “we are going to fulfill our own part of the deal.”
The chairman of the developers of the new market, Logistics De-Luke Ltd, Mr. Raymond Aliga noted that the AHMPATSA has become the only market association in the Southeast zone that has acquired land, designed their market and got a developer to build it.
He said that the new market was strategically located within the axis of Abia, Imo, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Cross River, adding that the market would be ready in nine months. Aliga urged other market associations to emulate AHMPATSA and assured that the modern market would be open to tyre and heavy motor spare parts traders outside Aba, including Lagos and Port Harcourt.
The chairman of Logistics De-Luke urged AHMPATSA to stick to the terms of the MoU and cooperate with the developers and the financiers to realise the project within the contractual time frame.
Senior special assistant to the governor of Abia state on trade and investments, Mr. Jude Udeachara said that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu “is very supportive” of AHMPATSA in its efforts to build a market for its members thereby complying with government’s directive to decongest the commercial city.
He said that government would build a kilometer road into the new market and donate a high capacity generator to ensure constant power supply to the market.
Udeachara said that AHMPATSA has set the pace for other traders in Aba, adding that with this initiative by the tyre and heavy motor spare parts dealers other market clusters would be encouraged to emulate them.
He said that aside from the 1,200 shops the market would have space for banks, spacious parking lot administrative block, restaurant, and security post as well as other amenities.
In his remarks the brand manager of Unity Bank, Mr. Donatus Ubechu said that the bank was encouraged to finance the market project because of the enthusiasm shown by the leadership and members of AHMPATSU as well as the sterling record of the developers, Logistics De-Luke in quality and timely execution of projects.