AS part of the efforts geared toward reconstruction of Jos Main market gutted by fire February 12, 2002, Plateau State Government recently convened a meeting tagged “Stakeholders and the Transaction Advisory Service” for the re-development and enhancement of the burnt market.
The stakeholders comprise the State Traders Association, professional bodies, religious leaders, and security agencies, among others, alongside different consultants and technical partners saddled with the responsibility of actualisation of the reconstruction.
It will be recalled that the state government recently signed a N250 million Memorandum of Understanding with Roughton International London in collaboration with Cynergy Associates for the first phase of the contract which includes the redevelopment and enhancement of the burnt market.
Declaring the stakeholders meeting open, the state Commissioner of Commerce said the essence of the meeting was to carry all the stakeholders along in the quest by the state government to reconstruct the market and prove its determination towards the project, adding that the state government could not afford to leave the structure in ruin being an edifice that was once cynosure of all eyes and a pride of the state.
“The government cannot embark on project like this without carrying the stakeholders along; there is the need to interact with you and for input because you are the ones that will use the market when completed. This is the first part; the next phase will be bulldozing. I can assure you that the government is committed to this project” he assured.
Security matters and adequate fire fighting and safety equipment were some of the major issues discussed during the meeting. Country Director for Roughton, Engineer Ike Egbuna, said the meeting was to get feedbacks, concerns, worries, suggestions and information or obstacle that might be known by stakeholders regarding the market.
Sector 5 Commander for Operation Safe Haven, Colonel Uriah Tamunobere Opuene, while advising on security measures, said the need for affordability of shops must be considered when the construction was finished as a way to motivate all road side traders to move into the stalls in the market.
In his presentation, representative of the Cynerge Associates, Engineer Noel Dongjul, said the project required meticulous planning and understanding of the stakeholders, especially the traders who would be end users, adding that the market which was once the largest indoor market in West Africa in the 80s needed modifications to meet the preset day reality.
Earlier, the Chairman, Project Implementation Unit, Ezekiel Gomos, said about 70 groups were invited as stakeholders to offer suggestions and advice to the consultants.