The Nasarawa State House of Assembly Committee on Capital Market, Commerce and Industry has moved to ban street trading in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the move was to compel traders to move to the markets built by the government in order to boost the socio-economic development of the state.
The Chairman of the committee, Mr Mohammed Isa (APC-Uke/Karshi), stated this during a meeting with some stakeholders on Monday in Lafia.
Present at the meeting were local government chairmen, the management of the state Urban Development Board (NUDB) and representatives of security agencies.
He stressed the need for the council chairmen to ensure total utilisation of markets built by the state government in their respective areas.
Isa added that this had become necessary in order to enhance the economic development of the people.
The chairman also said that full utilisation of the markets would go a long way in tackling unemployment and youth restiveness in the state.
“This meeting is not to witch hunt anybody but to discuss issues affecting market development in the state, such as centralisation of modern markets between state and local governments and prohibition of street trading.
“Another issue to be discussed includes the roles of royal fathers, security agencies and the state Urban Development Board (NUBD) to ensure that modern markets in their respective areas pick up.
“The sharing formula between the state and the local governments from revenue generated by the markets and the security challenges in those markets will also be discussed,” he said.
Isa expressed the committee’s commitment to addressing the challenges affecting market development across the state.
He lauded the government for investing massively in market development in the state and called for their full utilisation.
Also speaking, Mr Yusuf Taiwo, the Area Commander, Karu police division, urged the government to be fair and transparent in the allocation of shops to traders to avoid a crisis.
Similarly, the Chairmen of Keffi and Akwanga Local Government councils, Alhaji Sani Maigoro, Mr Samuel Meshi respectively, appreciated the committee for ensuring markets development and full utilisation of the already existing ones in the state.
They appealed to the state government to handover markets in their respective council areas to them in order to generate more revenue to both the state and the councils’ coffers.
According to them, the local government authorities are in a better position to know the genuine traders, their impacts and the challenges as well as the market situations in their territories.
The council chairmen, however, decried a situation where most of the shops built by the government were being allocated to non-business people in their areas instead of those who really needed them.
They noted that the development had led to most of the shops remaining closed, while local government authorities were finding it difficult to force roadside traders to move inside the market, as many of them had no shop allocated to them.