Afew days ago, the Ondo State Government announced a plan to establish evening and Sunday markets to address problems posed by the huge traffic along Oja-Oba and Arakale axis of Akure, the Ondo State capital.
THE chairman of the committee and Special Adviser to the Governor on Transport, Mr. Tobi Ogunleye, gave this indication in a chat with reporters in Akure.
MR Ogunleye decried the way by which traders use their goods to cause traffic holdups at the Akure metropolis during official hours.
ACCORDING to the Special Adviser, the committee on the issue of the markets plans to stop hawkers from using major roads as their stalls.
CONSEQUENTLY, parks such as the MKO Abiola Democracy Park, Arakale and Olukayode Park will be used as evening markets after the close of work.
ACCORDING to Ogunleye, all modalities have been put in place to achieve the initiative, which would soon be implemented.
ONE of the reasons for evening markets in major towns in the country is to cater for the needs of the working class and those who have no time to shop for their supplies during day time.
ANOTHER reason is that traders make up for the opportunities lost during day time when millions of people are at their working places.
EVENING markets also thrive because law-enforcement agents don’t usually disturb traders at night, so people can operate outside government control. Unfortunately, unregulated evening markets have been causing a lot of problems.
SO we understand the Ondo State Government’s desire to establish regulated evening and Sunday markets.
IT is a commendable gesture, because traders will be confined to the designated parks to ply their trade.
TRADERS who are unable to carry out their business in day time can do so in the evenings at designated areas, which means traffic holds up at day time will be a thing of the past.
BY confining traders to the designated parks, their produce can be monitored to ensure quality control.
UNLIKE in unregulated evening or Sunday markets, aggrieved customers could get help from market authorities once disputes arise from business transactions.
HAVING said this, we advise the state government to draft the health sector into this initiative, as evening markets in other Nigerian cities are often criticised on account of poor sanitation.
THE appropriate government institution should provide trash bins around the evening and Sunday markets to facilitate easy collection of waste materials.
GOVERNMENT should ensure street lights are permanently switched on at such night markets, so that traders don’t use the cover of darkness to sell substandard goods to unsuspecting members of the public.
IN as much as we respect tradition, we advise the committee in charge of operating the evening markets to liaise with the Deji of Akure for success of the endeavour.
PEOPLE should also be persuaded against using tradition to cause lawless activities at the proposed evening markets.
TRADERS should be discouraged against seeing the traditional rites performed by the Deji as a license to display their wares by the roadsides.
PROPERLY implemented, the initiative should bring more revenue into the coffers of government, but it should be implemented in such a way that traders find it affordable.
WE hope necessary security and health steps have been put in place to protect health and lives of those who will operate the market.
APART from providing security personnel to discourage criminality around the market, the place should be properly lit to make transactions lively and secured .
IT will be an invitation to chaos if security is not factored into the operation of the market as hoodlums and area boys might exploit the loopholes for extortion of innocent people .
OPERATORS of the proposed market are equally advised to liaise with the local community and the Deji in council to avoid conflict of interest between traders and traditionalists.
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