Ikpeazu committed to rapid urban development

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Gov Okezie Ikpeazu

Gov Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State

Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia says he is fully committed to the implementation of government’s programmes and policies that will lead to rapid urban development.

Ikpeazu said this while inspecting the ongoing redesigning and beautification of Umuahia city centre, popularly known as Isigate.

He said that the measure was meant to decongest the area and create an environment that would enhance the wellbeing of residents of the capital city.

The governor said the decision to ban street trading in Umuahia and Aba was informed by the need to tackle all forms of activities that violated urban planning laws.

He said that the state government was poised to transform the two major cities into an investors’ haven.

He said: “I am impressed with what is happening. I urge the Ministry of Trade and Commerce to sustain the tempo of work to turn the place into what we want it to be.

“If we allow this place to lie fallow for a long time, we run the risk of allowing street trading to return to this place.

“This is a major assignment and I think we have started well.

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“We will give you all the support that you require or need to succeed on this assignment.”

Ikpeazu directed the ministry to collaborate with Abia State Road Maintenance Agency and Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers to facilitate the execution of the project.

Earlier, the Commissioner, Chief Cosmos Ndukwe, said that the ministry resolved to redesign the area and also deploy task force as part of the measures to rid the area of street trading.

Ndukwe said that the ministry had issued notices to property owners within the area to avoid acts that would violate government’s ban on street trading.

He said the ministry was committed to ensuring that traders in Umuahia and Abia moved out of the streets to government’s approved markets.

The ministry recently embarked on the demolition of structures, including shops, makeshift kiosks, tables and projections, allegedly situated in unauthorised areas of Aba and Umuahia.

The state government had expressed concern over the return of trading at the Isi-Gate, after the 2013 demolition of the old Umuahia main market, forcing traders to relocate to Ubani Ibeku and Orie Ugba markets in Umuahia as well as Imo River Market Obowo council area of Imo.