A ONE-day workshop on research findings, organised by Nextier Firm towards tackling challenges and development of markets in Ananabra State for sustainable growth and development, a cardinal feature of the state transformation programme with the theme, “Fixing the Enterprise Engine: Sustainable Solutions to Challenges in Markets in Anambra State,” has ended in Awka.
In his opening remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade and Commerce, Ike Chinedu, represented by Jossy Eboh-Nwosu thanked the state government for supporting markets in the state and recalled that most markets in the state could not be accessed before, but today, government has improved facilities at markets providing access roads, toilet facilities, fire trucks to ameliorate difficulties encountered by traders.
Founder, Nextier Firm, Patrick Okigbo, emphasised that most of the solutions to challenges faced by traders do not need finance, but rather, ideas through critical thinking involving collective roles from every trader.
“We conduct similar research projects across the country and the West African region, to better economy and well being of the people. We hope there will be small ideas and quick solutions that we can work on, for instance, access to finance; within 10 days to two weeks, we have market leaders meet with Central Bank officials to talk on how to improve access to finance”.
Okigbo promised that once findings are validated, the firm will update the report and make it available to the government.
He called on market stakeholders to have a deeper understanding of the threats they are facing; and also a new realisation that they can solve many of their problems without the government.
In his presentation, the Director/Chief Fire Officer Anambra State Fire Service, Martin Agbili said Anambra State Fire Service was rated the best Fire Service in the whole South East, and among the first ten in Nigeria.
Agbili also disclosed that the state government has done much within a shortest time and is not relenting until all the markets in the state have boreholes articulated within, plus other gadgets installed to contain fire in case of outbreak.
Nextier research lead, Emeka Iloh said that the firm used Anambra State as a pilot study because it was a commercial state in the South East.
Iloh listed some of the findings from market challenges to include: lack of clarity on who runs markets; multiplicity of taxes; poorly constructed market structures; over population in markets; improper waste management; indifference and lack of understanding of e-commerce phenomenon; fire incidence whose causes differ from market to market.