The executive governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi has distributed a total sum of N120 million to over 2,500 traders in the state, with an assurance that his administration will continue to ensure enhanced trading activities through government policies, so as to actualize a stable economy of its desire.
The governor, while addressing a horde of market men and women at the Lekan Salami Sports Complex, Adamasingba, Ibadan on Wednesday. He also dispelled the rumours being peddled by the opposition that his administration had been demolishing shops and other means of livelihood of the people of the state.
According to him, the only structures that his government ever removed were those trading by the roadsides.
Governor Ajimobi, who was assisted in the distributed of cheques by his deputy, Chief Moses Alake Adeyemo, his wife, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi and the Chairman of the State Market Advisory Council, Alhaji Dauda Oladapo, said that the gesture was in fulfillment of his earlier promise to the market men and women, artisans, caterers, traders and indeed the people of the state that his government would positively touch the lives of everyone.
“Trading, as we all know, is the livewire of commerce in any given economy. Our administration is very much aware of this and is doing everything humanly possible to make life better for the people of the state,’’ he said.
It would be recalled that interest-free loans had earlier been given to traders and artisans in the state, the first time ever in the history of the state, one of which was the N20 million given to traders at the newly-constructed Scout Camp Market at Challenge, Ibadan.
On his administration’s urban renewal and environmental sanitation programmes which culminated in the removal of traders from the streets, Governor Ajimobi said it was done to ensure the environmental, health and safety of the people of the state.
“We removed illegal traders only in Ibadan, said to be, before now, the dirtiest city in Nigeria. By removing illegal traders from underneath the bridges and roadsides where there were no toilets, we have reduced the incidence of cholera and communicable diseases to the barest minimum.
“Those trading under high-tension wires were also removed for their own self-safety while flood-prone area traders who were removed have reduced our flood incidences,’’ he said.
The governor, who said that people still sell by the roadsides till today, added that they had only been moved away from deadly road paths.
“Check traders at Bode in Molete up through that stretch of road to Gate area, we never demolished a single shop. We only asked the traders to move from dangerous road-paths to enhance city aesthetics and give even the traders long life,’’ he said.
Governor Ajimobi further stated that his administration also took a step further by instructing all the 11 local government councils in Ibadan to construct at least two neighbourhood markets each, pointing out while many councils had completed the construction of their own markets, others were at advanced stages of completion.
He listed some of the market already constructed by the council chairmen in Ibadan metropolis to include the Oloosaoko Market, Bodija Market, Bode-Igbo Market, Jonku Market, Alesinloye Market, Gbekuba Market, Bode market, Olorunsogo Market and many others.
The governor assured all the traders in the state that government would not rest on its oars in making life better for them, urging them, therefore, to keep on supporting his administration so that dividends of democracy could get to all parts of the state.
He also implored market leaders to ensure that the interest-free loans go round, adding “our traders must ensure that the loans get to all those who need them, so as to boost their market capabilities.
“The loans are revolving and interest-free. Therefore, it is necessary to make available records of the loans’ disbursement and repayment to the supervising ministry for accountability purposes,’’ the governor said.