Traders in the popular Alaba International Market in Lagos State, Nigeria have expressed their displeasure over the state government’s plan to hand over the market to Chinese companies without notifying them. The traders, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they got wind of the plan through rumors and have not received any official communication from the government.
According to the traders, the Lagos State government plans to demolish some parts of the market to pave the way for the Chinese companies to take over the space. They alleged that the government has not considered their interests and welfare in the decision-making process.
“We are disappointed that the government did not notify us of their plans to demolish parts of the market and hand it over to Chinese companies. We only heard about it through rumors. We do not know what the government has in store for us,” one of the traders said.
Another trader expressed concern about the impact of the demolition on their businesses and livelihoods. “We have invested a lot of money in our businesses here, and we do not know what will happen to us if the government goes ahead with its plan. We are appealing to the government to carry us along and consider our interests,” the trader said.
The Alaba International Market is one of the largest electronics markets in West Africa, with thousands of traders selling a wide range of electronic products, including mobile phones, computers, and other gadgets. The market has been in existence for decades and has contributed significantly to the economic growth of Lagos State.
Reacting to the development, the President of the Alaba Amalgamated Traders Association, Ichie Fabian Ezeorjika, said the government should engage with the traders and carry them along in its plans for the market. He also called on the government to provide alternative spaces for the affected traders if the demolition goes ahead.
“We appeal to the Lagos State government to engage with us and carry us along in their plans for the market. We also urge the government to provide alternative spaces for the affected traders if the demolition goes ahead,” Ezeorjika said.
The Lagos State government is yet to respond to the allegations or issue an official statement on the matter. However, the traders have vowed to resist any attempt to demolish the market and hand it over to foreign companies without due consideration for their interests.
SOURCE: Online, SR
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