Anambra Urban Renewal; More than 1000 shops to be demolished in Onitsha.
The Anambra State Government has announced the demolition of over 1,000 shops in Onitsha’s Ochanja Market.
According to Punch, the governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, led a joint task force of building professionals and the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Dr Obinna Ngonadi, on Friday to monitor various sections of the market.
Ngonadi described the marked buildings as illegal constructions that lacked state government approval.
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It was also discovered that the majority of the buildings had structural flaws, such as cracked walls and decking, falling pillars and sands, and road obstructions, among other issues.
He went on to say that the current administration intended to decongest markets by making them inhabitable in accordance with international standards.
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He warned owners of illegal structures to remove them immediately or face paying the state government to do so.
Also speaking, Mr Chike Maduekwe, Chairman of the Anambra State Physical Planning Board, assured that the Anambra State Materials Testing Laboratory would visit all markets to test the structural integrity of their buildings in order to determine which would be spared with minor modifications and which would be completely demolished.
Speaking on the sidelines, Mr Bonaventure Muo, Chairman of the Caretaker Committee for the Ochanja Market, praised the governor for the move, assuring that they would continue to support government programs to clean up the markets.
The team then went to Ogidi and Ogbunike Building Materials Markets to assess their level of compliance with the traders/markets enumeration exercise, and praised traders for following government orders.
Addressing the traders, the commissioner stated that the state government would gather comprehensive data on all traders and their businesses through the data collection exercise in order to properly care for their welfare, security, and other purposes.
In separate interviews, Mr Jude Okonkwo, Chairman of the Building Materials Market (Ogidi), and Mr Adinu Onyechi, Chairman of Building Materials 2 and 3 (Ogidi and Ogbunike), commended the governor for the move, promising to mobilize all their members to participate actively because it was in their best interests.