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Illegal, precarious structures in Ochanja Market for demolition

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ANAMBRA State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry Obinna Ngonadi has gone around Ochanja Central Market to inspect over 1000 precarious and illegal stalls marked for demolition.

The inspection was carried out in the company of the Chairman, Anambra State Physical Planning Board, Mr Chike Maduekwe on Friday.

  Speaking during the visit, Dr Ngonadi reiterated that the state government will not condone indiscriminate erection of structures in market spaces without approval from relevant authorities.

He said that government had directed that market executives or developers planning to erect any structure inside the market should first obtain a letter of recommendation from Ministry of Commerce and Industry, before proceeding for approval from the State Physical Planning Board.

The commissioner frowned at the sight of some structures inside Ochanja, that are still under construction but are already at the verge of collapsing, even as traders have fully occupied the stalls, insisting they could  have fatal consequences to lives of both traders and buyers.

He recalled a similar situation where a badly constructed market building in Ochanja collapsed and killed some traders while others sustained varying degrees of injuries, stressing that such structures must be demolished.

“The lives of the citizens of ndi Anambra mean a lot to our governor, Prof Charles Soludo, and we must make things right”.

He also spotted out a fire truck parking lot where an illegal structure was constructed thereby encroaching on the right of way of the vehicle in case of fire incidence in the market, saying that that was an illegality and would be addressed.

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In his address, the Chairman of the state Physical Planning Board, Mr Maduekwe said that Anambra State Materials Testing Laboratory will be invited to test the structural integrity of the stalls marked for demolition.

According to him, those that pass the test would come for approval and guidelines for amendment, those that failed will come down.

“As you can see, when we were walking around the market, many traders were complaining, calling us and showing us parts of the building blocks that are falling on them as they lose and detach from building walls” he added.

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