Owners of dormant lock-up shops of no fewer than 1,500 in Akpan Andem market in Uyo local government area of Akwa Ibom State have been given a two-week ultimatum to open them for business or government will revoke their Certificate of Occupancy.
Imoh Okon, Chairman of Uyo local government area, handed down the ultimatum Tuesday when he led a team comprising Dr. Iniobong Essien, the Commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources and other top government functionaries to inspect facilities in the market and other markets in the state capital.
Okon stated that the state government would be left with no other option than to revoke the occupancy of the shops if the owners do not open them for businesses.
‘’Government is providing adequate and essential facilities such as toilet and potable water in the market. But it is sad that over 1500 lock-up shops have not been utilised and the government is giving the owners two weeks for them to open the shops for business purposes otherwise their occupancy will be revoked,’’ the council’s boss said.
In his remarks, Dr. Iniobong Essien, the commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources, assured the traders that the state government has taken the necessary steps to re-organise and improve the conditions of the market to ensure a conducive and healthy business environment for them.
Essien stated that his ministry would collaborate with other relevant agencies of government to re-position the market by opening up the internal roads and enacting an enabling law to ensure smooth operations in the market.
The commissioner, however, appealed to the traders to support the Udom Emmanuel administration by registering in the on-going voters’ registration exercise to enable them vote for the governor for a second term in office.
‘’The state government has taken the necessary steps to ensure that you sell in a most healthy condition. To this end, government is working with other agencies to give the market a new look by constructing internal roads to ease movement of goods and services. I also implore you to register in the on-going voters’ registration exercise to return the governor who has performed well for a second terms in office,’’ he said.
Responding, Obonganwan Maria Eshiet, the Women leader, thanked the government for providing the facilities in the market and for showing concerns to the welfare of the traders.