Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra state has announced the aggressive enforcement of ban on street trading and illegal revenue collection across the state.
Obiano who disclosed this during a crucial meeting with market leaders, said the exercise which would commence on Wednesday has become imperative to salvage the ugly situation that has discouraged buyers from patronizing markets across the State.
“As the Chief Security Officer of the State, my responsibility is not only battling crimes and criminality but also protecting the street traders who run their businesses at the risk of being crushed by moving vehicles,” he said.
He regretted the spate of illegal revenue collections and extortion of buyers in the markets which he noted, spells very negative indices for his administration’s efforts at creating a business -friendly environment in the State.
The governor further frowned at the diversion of approved levies by some market leaders, stressing that the meeting was important to sound a note of warning before government starts enforcement.
“There is alternative arrangements for the relocation of sellers of fruits and other articulated items that constitute the bulk of the street traders. Restoring sanity in the markets is in the best interest of the State as entrenched in the state’s business operations,” he said.
The President of Amalgamated Traders Association of Anambra State, Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo assured the traders readiness to work with government to fish out illegal revenue collectors in the State.
He said the meeting was imperative especially at a time when the government was taking measures to return the lost glory of the state’s commerce and industry sector.
In their separate remarks, the Head of Market Traders in Onitsha South, Mr. Eric Uwaoma, the Chairman, Onitsha Main Market, Mr. Chidozie Okeke and the Chairman, Bridgehead Market, Onitsha, Mr. Sunday Obieze, thanked the Governor for his commitment towards eliminating challenges facing traders.
They appealed that they be carried along in the enforcement exercise to ensure it yielded the desired result.
The Market Leaders further appealed to government to clearly specify the approved levies for traders in their markets to know, so as to also address the issue of accusations of complicity in the illegal collection businesses against them and government.