The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has threatened to shut down Dutse Modern Market for alleged illegal activities of Business Managers and traders.
Mr. Ikharo Attah, Senior Special Assistant to FCT Minister on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement, made the threat when he led a clean up exercise to the market and other parts of Dutse on Monday.
Attah decried the high level of illegal activities within the market, strategically located in Bwari Area Council.
He accused the market managers, whom he alleged had introduced all manners of illegalities which had led to the alteration and defacement of the market’s original plan.
According to him, the FCT Minister, Malam Musa Bello, has therefore cautioned against any form of contraventions of the laws setting up the market
He said that urgent steps had to be taken to restore sanity to the market, in order to avoid any disaster that could lead to the loss of lives and properties.
According to him, “the FCT Administration will not allow any individual to rubbish the good works the administration has made to put in place for the benefit of all the residents.”
Attah also warned residents of the Dutse community to desist from trading on roads and walkways creating gridlock.
“The FCT Minister has actually shown interest in the Dutse market, because he had put in more resources and time. He visits the market regularly more than any other market in the city.
“Sadly, Dutse market is a disaster waiting to happen. The place has become badly choked up. The walkway and car parks are blocked and turned into to a selling point.
“There are so many anomalies in the market. In the advent of fire incident, even a wheel barrow can’t carry water inside to fight the fire.
“The traders have also taken over the main road, shade their wares, causing traffic gridlock. In all these, the market managers have not really helped us.
“The team members have agreed to propose to the minister a one month closure to enable us clean up the market,” he said.
In a swift reaction to the allegations, the Market Manager, Mr Sunday Makus, debunked the allegations of bribery as he however, expressed his helplessness in handling the traders’ excesses.
According to him, he has been trying to curtail the illegal activities of traders, but to no avail.
Howvever, a petty trader, Mrs Confidence Oguru, whose roadside trading tables were destroyed by the clean up team, alleged that the authority was frustrating them.
The middle-aged woman who operates a Point of Sell PoS) and sells other petty materials, claimed that she lost up to N50,000 to the clean up exercise.
“I feel so bad because it is unfair to us by the government coming to destroy our things without notice.
“I have lost up to N50, 000 today . As a graduate, I have no job, but have to be doing the PoS business and other things just to make ends meet.” she added.