Traders at the New Benin market in Benin City, the Edo state capital, are appealing to the state government to establish an international market, that will help to put a permanent end to the menace of street trading.
The traders under the aegis of the Traders Welfare Union of Nigeria who made this appeal during a peaceful march to the Government House in Benin City also maintained that it is only when alternative measures have been put in place that the government can succeed in its bid to end street trading in the state.
Matching through various streets the traders said they are in full support of the government’s decision to sanitize the state but that should be done with their welfare given careful consideration
A trader, Mrs. Nosa Nosakhare said, “The shops in new Benin market cannot contain 25,000 people and they are very expensive but along the walk way you can do business with as little as 10,000 Naira but you need up to 300,000 Naira to rent a shop in the existing markets before you can set up a business.”
Another trader Mrs. Doris Ehigiamose also added that, “Its not that we like shading on the road but at least the governor should open a market for us to sell, but now it is like he wants us to leave the walk way but didn’t make another provision for us.”
The President of the Traders Welfare Union of Nigeria, Mr. Lucky Orukpe also said the government is being misinformed about the reason why people chose to trade on walk ways.
“Before you can rent a shop in any of the markets here in Benin city you must meet three conditions which will cost you over 300,000 Naira”
The traders were also at the Government House to register their complains, although no government official was available to receive them.
However, this protest by the traders is coming on the heels of the decision by the government to upscale action against street and walk ways traders in major cities of the state.