Monday, January 11, 2016 7:28 am
The planned re-design and re-development of the popular Ogunpa Market, Ibadan, by the Oyo State Government through the public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement will commence on today, Monday.
The project is expected to accommodate more than 1,000 shops, as well as modern social infrastructure.
The development followed a meeting held between the stakeholders and the state government at the House of Chiefs, Parliament Building, Ibadan, on Friday.
It will be recalled that government’s resolve to transform the market through a PPP arrangement had generated tension among the traders and other stakeholders.
Some of the traders had expressed fears that since the project would be executed by a private developer, they might not be able to afford the cost of the shops, which they said might be exorbitant.
Besides, they were worried that the original traders in the market might be shut out upon completion, while the completed shops might be allocated to influential people who presently had no stake in the market.
The fears were, however, assuaged at the meeting, which was attended by the representatives of the state government; the Chairman, Oyo State Market Advisory Council, Alhaji Dauda Oladapo; his deputy, Mrs. Abake Lawal; and other markets leaders.
Other stakeholders at the parley were representatives of the police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps; Department of State Services; Ogunpa Market; and Chairman of the state branch of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Alhaji Taofeek Oyerinde.
A former Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Mr. Segun Abolarinwa, who represented the Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, at the meeting, assured the stakeholders that the interest of the traders would be adequately taken care of.
According to him, the government decided to adopt the PPP model for the development of the market following the current economic realities that had made such partnership inevitable.
He said, “At least 1000 shops are being planned to replace the existing Ogunpa market. The project is expected to be completed before the end of the year. It is in line with the vision of the governor to transform the state. I want to assure the stakeholders that no underhand dealings will be permitted in the course of the project and in the allocation of the shops. No individual will be allowed to acquire multiple shops to the detriment of others. We followed due process by calling for bids in newspaper publications and we selected three out of the bidders. The developer we eventually chose has a track record of achievements.”
Bolarinwa said that the Market Advisory Council and the executive members of the Ogunpa Market Traders Association would be involved in the allocation of the shops upon completion. He added that all necessary enumeration had been done and that no trader would be allowed to have more than one shop.
The governor’s aide explained that the meeting was aimed at creating a forum to rub minds with the traders and to clear all grey areas and douse tension concerning the re-development of the market.
Earlier, the NURTW tsar had requested that a modern bus terminus be provided in the new market for ease of logistics, instead of a car park, which he said would not serve the purpose.
The Chairperson of the Food Canteen Association, Chief Iyadunni Lawal, applauded the step by the government, which she said was in line with the type of development going on in Lagos and other big cities.
She prayed that the project would be successful, adding, however, that there should be provision for canteens in the new project.
Responding to the requests, Bolarinwa assured that the market would have an automated motor park and spaces for food vendors.