Chief John Okiyi Kalu, the State Commissioner for Trade and Investment in Abia state has announced that the closure of the Waterside Abattoir and Ahia Udele market in Aba is permanent.
It would be recalled that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu ordered the closure of the market.
Speaking to traders of the closed markets in Umuahia on Friday, Chief Okiyi announced that the closure of the Waterside Abattoir and Ahia Udele market is permanent.
According to him, the aim of closing the market is to safeguard lives and preserve public health.
Chief Okiyi went on to express the deep pains and sympathy of the government to the traders over the accident that claimed four lives.
He informed them that Governor Ikpeazu has directed the ministry to ensure that the medical bills of injured persons are settled by the government.
Going further, the commissioner, who was joined by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Sir Michael Egwu and other directors, highlighted the efforts made by the government to relocate the market particularly because of safety concerns raised by relevant agencies with a new Abattoir already under construction at Omumauzor in Ukwa West LGA.
“it will be irresponsible of this government to sit idly by and watch while the lives and livelihood of our people are threatened daily by the very real hazards of doing business in and around the closed markets.
We feel your pains and understand the circumstances that led to the market springing up there but we will have no excuse whatsoever to give to posterity if we fail to do the needful immediately.” He said.
While informing the traders that the closure of Waterside Abattoir and Ahia Udele market was permanent, Chief Okiyi advised that all those concerned should ensure they move out every one of their items before the close of business today.
He further stated that the governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has directed the executives of Good Morning Market in Aba to allow displaced traders from Ahia Udele to take up vacant shops in the market immediately without demanding rent from them for at least three months in order to make them settle with ease and continue their businesses with minimal or no challenge.
He, therefore, directed the Director of Commerce in the ministry and the Chairman of Good Morning Market Committee to supervise the allocation of spaces and smooth resettlement of the displaced traders and report back to him thereafter.
Speaking on the movement of Cattle market to the Omumauzor facility, Chief Okiyi assured the traders that the ministry is already grading the road to the location.
He also revealed that the governor has directed the state ministry of works to commence full reconstruction of the road using rigid pavement technology.
The state ministry of transport will release new guidelines on the movement of articulated vehicles into and out of Aba next week as approved by the governor.