Obiano goes tough against street trading, illegal revenue collection

THE State Government is to commence enforcement of the ban on street trading and illegal revenue collection aggressively across the state on Wednesday this week.

The state Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, disclosed this during a crucial meeting he had with market leaders.

Governor Obiano explained that it has become imperative for the government to embark on the operation to salvage the ugly situation that has discouraged buyers from patronizing markets across the State.

He said, as the Chief Security Officer of the State, he has the responsibility of 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.

The Governor observed with dismay, 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.

He further frowned at the diversion of approved levies by some market leaders, stressing that the meeting is important to sound a note of warning before the government starts enforcement.

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The Governor who revealed that his government has made alternative arrangements for the relocation of sellers of fruits and other articulated items that constitute the bulk of the street traders emphasized that it is in the best interest of the State that sanity is entrenched in the state’s business operations.

The President of Amalgamated Traders Association of Anambra State, Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo said the meeting is imperative at a time like this when the State Government is taking measures to return the lost glory of the State’s commerce and industry sector, assuring that they are ready to work with government to fish out illegal revenue collectors in the State.

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 and appealed that they be carried along in the enforcement exercise to ensure that the exercise yields the desired result.

The Market Leaders further appealed to the 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.

The market leaders later entered into a strategic session with members of the State Security Council to fashion out modalities for the enforcement exercise.

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