By Muhammad Lawal
Gov. Abubakar Atiku-Bagudu of Kebbi State on Monday said the State Government spent over N2 billion to reconstruct 1,050 shops destroyed by fire at the Birnin Kebbi Central market.
He made the disclosure at the Birnin Kebbi Central Market, while handing over 350 reconstructed shops to the original owners, who met the requirements set by the government.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the central market was destroyed by fire in December 2016.
Atiku-Bagudu, represented by Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq-Yelwa, State Commissioner for Lands and Housing, said that the state government would accord the original shop owners priority in the reallocation of the shops.
“Anybody who owned a shop before would be reallocated a new one, and those who inherited shops from their parents and are legally conducting their businesses in those shops will also be considered.”
The governor advised those seeking to buy new shops to follow due process to secure them.
The governor reminded the traders that the shops remained the property of the state government, hence the need for them to ensure prompt renewal of the annual dues whenever it expires.
He assured the traders of government’s commitment to release the shops to them soon.
Atiku-Bagudu encouraged the management of the market to ensure judicious distribution of the shops to legitimate traders, warning that the state government would not hesitate to take decisive measures against officials, who violate the established rules.
Meanwhile, the Speaker, Kebbi State House of Assembly, Alhaji Abdulmumini Kamba, commended the efforts of state government for reconstructing the market.
Kamba, represented by Alhaji Habibu Labbo, Chairman, House Committee on Land and Housing admonished the traders against misusing the shops.
He said the market was reconstructed to boost economic activities and enhance the state’s revenue base.
According to him, the state government have spent such colossal amount to assist the traders, in spite of the current economic downturn.
Earlier, the Chairman, Kebbi State Market Traders’ Association, Alhaji Umaru Dan-Gura, commended the government for fulfilling its promise of reallocating the shops to the original owners.
“We are happy today, we are witnessing the distribution of new shops to our traders.”
The Chairman advised the traders to put the facilities to best use, insisting that the traders must ensure the market environment remained clean to sustain the beauty of the edifice. (NAN)