<<< By Tahav Agerzua >>>
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, today directed the chairman of Gboko local government caretaker committee to stop further allocation of stalls at the Gboko main market.
He also set up a 17- member committee to handle complaints on all issues relating to the market after dissolving that set up by the local government.
Governor Ortom gave the directive during a meeting with major stakeholders after a visit to the market.
He directed the committee to also recover monies collected illegally collected from those given shops and return to the payees.
The Governor said the interest of ordinary petty traders especially old women and youths must be protected while arrangements should be made for movement to the new market as part of efforts to decongest the old one.
According to him, the livelihood of the larger percentage of the Gboko population depended on the market and that the committee must ensure the resolution of all areas of conflict between the parties so as to enable the traders carry out their lawful businesses without let or hindrance.
The committee has the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Targema Takema, as chairman with security agents, General Manager, Urban Development Board, traditional rulers, market associations, elders as well as local and state government officials as members.
Governor Ortom charged members to explore possibilities of getting multiple markets for Gboko town, moving traders in categories from the old to the new market and ensuring the demolition of any attachment to the stalls at the old market.
The Governor had visited both markets and thereafter, held meetings with the stakeholders at the Tiv Area Traditional Council hall in Gboko.
Those who spoke including chairman of Gboko caretaker committee, Mr. Emmanuel Kwaghgba, Ter Gboko, Chief Gabriel Shoshum, Works Supervisor, Mr. Adue Jov, Mama Felicia Agber, Mrs. Esther Adzongo, Messrs Amineti Adi, Toryima Usombo, Pa Haa Orpin, Basil Yina and Comrade Michael Eze expressed happiness with the Governor’s visit to assess the situation and resolve the crises.
In another development, Governor Ortom also received the Australian Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Angela Tierney, at the Benue Peoples House Makurdi.
He said the state government looked forward to benefitting from Australian expertise particularly in food processing technology for which the nation was far advanced.
The Deputy high commissioner stated that Australia and Benue state shared similarities in agriculture adding that she hoped that they would cooperate for mutual benefit.
She said her country had already provided boreholes for over 650 beneficiaries in the state and also trained over 100 people in their maintenance.