Four days after shutting down Olajumoke Akinjide Shopping Arcade, Dutse-Alhaji, Abuja over gross violation of land use act, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, Thursday approved the reopening of the market.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration had on Monday, closed down the market indefinitely, over what it described as extreme contraventions which include offensive refuse collection and disposal, clogging of drainages, indiscriminate construction of attachment at different corners, among several other unwholesome activities.
The Senior Special Assistant to FCT Minister on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement, Comrade Ikharo Attah, who led a team yesterday, to inspect the level of compliance, announced that business will resume on Friday but not without a promise to return to the market whenever reports of further violation is discovered.
Attah who noticed some bleeding points, advised shop owners to prevent hawkers and petty traders from erecting attachment around their shops.
He also warned the market management to desist from allocating parts of staircases and other corners that affects free movement within the market.
Attah said: “A few minutes ago, the Minister of the FCTA, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, directed that upon the intensive clean-up by the traders and management and every stakeholder here, that the Jumoke Shopping complex be reopened with effect from Friday morning that, the traders can commence trading that as far as he is concerned, the clean-up is satisfactory enough to ensure the safety and compliance to the AEPB as well as the urban and regional planning roles and that the market be open for business even as the minister wishes the traders well in what they will be doing during the booming December season.
“We would have open the market yesterday. The report we gave the minister was positive but we came in here and were shocked to see some contraventions around the staircases and illegalities hidden there, that is why the reopening was delayed but now that all has been cleared and the minister has directed that the market be reopened, I expect that the traders should be appreciative of what we are all doing together here.
“The market is clean and we hope its kept this way so that buyers can freely drive in and buy what they want without hindrance and the traders can also sell without glitches so that they will enjoy the forthcoming booming Christmas, sallah and Easter season. It’s a tough time for them and I believe they wouldn’t allow such contraventions repeat itself again.”
Reacting, the manager of the shopping complex, Mr Ezekiel Abiodun Olowookere promise that the environment will remain clean at all times.
“Yes we are very happy that the market will be opened tomorrow (Friday). We have been cleaning the market for 5 days now to make sure it looks very fine and now we are happy that everything looks good and the minister has allowed us to reopen.”