Abia Battles Street Traders to Save Newly Built Roads in Aba

Abia Battles Street Traders to Save Newly Built Roads in Aba

Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia

The Abia State Government has expressed its determination to tackle the menace of street trading on roads in the commercial city or Aba, saying that the newly reconstructed roads were being destroyed by unregulated commercial activities.

The Abia State Commissioner for Information and Culture, Mr. Okey Kanu, told journalists after the meeting of the State Executive Council that a quit notice has been issued to the traders to vacate the roads.

Kanu said: “This is necessary to safeguard the roads we have constructed. Street trading is making nonsense of the roads being built in Aba, hence the need to put a lasting end to the menace.

However, Kanu said that government would not immediately clamp down on the Aba street traders to avoid the shock effect and to give them opportunity to find alternative places.

 The government’s spokesman said that a grace period would be given to the defaulters during which a sensitisation exercise would run simultaneously before enforcement of the ban would commence.

“I hope our good people of Aba would heed the call and leave the streets and move into the market to carry out their commercial activities,” he said.

The information commissioner explained that apart from the damage they do to the roads, traders also mess the environment and cause traffic gridlock.

He further stated that government was also concerned about the dangers the street traders expose themselves to as a moving vehicle could accidentally knock them down.

Kanu emphasised that clearing traders from the roads would prolong the life span of roads, noting that “no responsible government would spend billions of Naira to reconstruct roads would allow them to be destroyed.”

On the alleged appropriation of government lands and other assets in Aba by persons that served in former government, Kanu said that the present administration would recover all government assets from those that appropriated them.

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