About 5,000 shops at the Alaba International market, Oba, Idemili South Local Government Area of Anambra State have been overtaken by rodents and snakes following years of abandonment by their owners.
The multi-million naira market on new Nnewi/Oba road has been locked for decades with little or no business activity going on there.
Majority of the shop owners reportedly locked their shops with the intention of reopening them when business boomed. But the market’s leadership has warned traders whose shops were locked to open them to avoid losing them.
Chairman of the Caretaker Committee/Presiding Officer Pastor Samuel Chukwudiafu threatened to revoke the locked shops if the owners remained adamant on their decision. He gave them till October 31 or they will lose the shops.
Chukwudiafu said: “If you don’t open your shops between now and October ending, by first day in November, you have forfeited your shop to the owners of the market. The owners of this market have empowered us to open such locked shops for occupation by interested traders.”
He explained that the market was grouped into four sections for administrative efficiency and easy identification, hoping that the market would soon witness a boom.
The Secretary, Sonny Agubosi, sai: “You need not lock the shops and stay in your house, after all the allocation of shop is free, just N1,000 registration and N5,000 allocation for a whole year.”
The market’s spokesman, Chukwuebuka Michael, explained that the vision of those who built the market was to assist the people fend for themselves through trading.
“Just stay in the market with just your N6,000 and within two to three years you make your money,” he noted.