By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
Following the inspection of facilities at the ultra-modern Oja Oba Market, Ado-Ekiti by the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, earlier in the week, the governor has ordered the revocation of allotted market stalls to prospective buyers.
The market, which is almost 80 per cent completed, was constructed by the administration of former Governor Ayodele Fayose.
Before his exit on October 16, 2018, Fayose had in September allocated the market to buyers through balloting, which did not go down well with the incoming governor.
In a statement in Ado Ekiti by the Special Adviser on Media to the governor, Yinka Oyebode, Fayemi said structural evaluation of the complex shows that some considerable construction work would be required to fix the inherent structural defects which have made the building unsafe for use.
Fayemi thereby ordered that the supervising ministries — Ministries of Commerce and Works — should refund the money to prospective buyers pending the time the market will be completed.
The governor said it is not ideal to allocate the market to users when the project was yet to be completed.
The statement said: “As this process would take some time, the governor has therefore directed that the process of allocation of shops be stopped immediately.
“The governor also directed that all subscribers with proofs of payment for shops in the market should be refunded.
“The Ministries of Works and Commerce are to work out a seamless process for the refund.”
But Fayose, who reacted through his media aide, Lere Olayinka, said the governor should be ready to face the consequences of refund if truly he is prepared to carry out the action.
Fayose said developers do allocate houses to buyers before commencement of building let alone a project that was near completion, adding that the state government should be ready to bear the brunt of his action.
“The penalty for revocation is payment of annual rental value for 50 years plus refund of cost of purchase.
“Fayemi should go ahead and revoke the allocation, it would only make the buyers richer,” Fayose said.