RSG Abandons Iriebe Spare Parts Market …4 Years After Ground Breaking Ceremony
The Iriebe Motor Spare Parts Market at Iriebe in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area which ground breaking ceremony was performed 4 years ago by Governor Nyesom Wike has remained overgrown with weeds.
Some prominent traders who spoke on the planned relocation of the market by the Rivers State government expressed dismay that four years after the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike did the ground-breaking ceremony, no concrete action has been taken to construct the market.
Nze Emmanuel Ejims, a prominent member of the Maxwell Asonye executive of the Port Harcourt Motor Spare Parts Union told The Vortex that several administrations in the state had made attempts to assist the traders in relocating from the present Ikokwu area, but the efforts have not yielded the desired fruit.
According to him, the Union had bought over 300 plots of land at Aluu in Obio Akpor Local government area, adding that when Governor Celestine Omehia assumed office in 2007, he refunded the Union the money paid for the land with the promise to allocate a new area for the market.
Nze Ejim explained that Governor Omehia latter allocated another plot of land to the Union, which was revoked by the Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi administration stating that the Amaechi administration before leaving office allocated the present expanse of land at Iriebe but could not develop it.
Nze Ejims told The Vortex that Governor Wike shortly after assumption of office in 2015, performed the foundation-laying ceremony of the market and assured the Ikokwu Spare Parts Union led by its President, Maxwell Asonye that the state Government will assist the traders in completing the building of the market within 18 months.
Nze Ejims decried the abandonment of the market by the state government, stating that all efforts made by the leadership of the Union to seek audience with the government on the matter in the last four years has been frustrated.
He added that the government even went ahead to request that the Union should open two joint project accounts with the government at the UBA and Zenith Bank.
The businessman said the Union had proposed that each trader and artisans in the market would contribute at least N2.5m for the completion of the market but added that the efforts never materialized.
The former spare parts union executive member also alleged that the union under Chief Asonye went as far as getting a sponsor based in America who volunteered to finance the project to the tune of over N20b but that the government refused to provide the needed guarantee requested by the investor.
Nze Ejims who accused the management of the Greater Port Harcourt Development Authority (GPDA) of contributing to the frustrating state of the project also equally frowned at some prominent members of the Union insisting that they created the environment that has portrayed the leadership of the spare parts union as ineffective.
Nze Ejims who is the chairman of the Achievers Lane Union in the market attributed the uncooperative attitude of the Port Harcourt Spare Parts Union (PSPU) to the frustration of the traders due to the problems that has alluded to the construction of the market.
He wondered how the union could on its own carry out the construction of the market without the assistance of the state government.
President of the Port Harcourt Spare Pars Union, Chief Maxwell Asonye, who spoke to The Vortex on phone, also lamented the frustration he and his union faced in trying to ensure the government’s participation in the project.
He explained that most of the challenges being encountered by the union were as a result of the activities of some opposition traders in the market.
Chief Asonye accused mischief makers, in the union for spreading lies against his leadership stating that the court case instituted against him has long been decided in his favour.