Abia State Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, today inaugurated new leadership committees for the various markets in Abia State.
Speaking during the formal inauguration of the new market leaders who were recently appointed by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, at the conference room of the Ministry of Trade and Investment, State Secretariat, Umuahia, Chief Okiyi charged the committee members to be united in the discharge of their duties and avoid imposing unapproved levies on traders. He further requested them to work towards properly administering the markets in ways that will improve trading activities, boost government revenue and prevent fire outbreaks as well as leverage on the comparative advantage the state has in trade and commerce to make her more economically viable.
According to him, “market leaders must key into the developmental agenda of Governor Ikpeazu who is determined to totally re-write the story of Abia State using trade and invetsment as a major pillar of his administration. That Governor Ikpeazu has continued to work on many roads of socioeconomic importance to the state is simply because he cares about the welfare of our traders; he owns no shop anywhere in the world and has continued to provide security in the state”.
Continuing, Chief Okiyi said, “Even his educational development programs that have ensured the state remains number one in the performance ranking of states in WAEC examinations and also resulting in the astronomical improvement in public school enrollment are aimed at ensuring that children of traders and farmers of Abia State compete favorably with their mates.”
He called on the market leaders to partner with the state government in delivering more dividends of democracy to the traders warning that whoever is found wanting in the discharge of his or her duties will be promptly removed and replaced as, according to him, “Governor Ikpeazu is not relenting in his quest to continue to deliver better life to our people across board, hence, his determination to remodel some key markets in the state. It is either you are ready to partner with him to promote the welfare of our people or be ready to be shipped out”.
The commissioner then directed the newly inaugurated market leaders to immediately put measures in place in their various markets to prevent fire outbreaks and install functional overhead water tanks to enable easy access to water for fire trucks should the need arise. He further advised them to fully key into the new electronic revenue collection system in the state to ensure that all leakage points are plugged and that multiple taxation illegally imposed on traders are stopped forthwith.
Speaking on behalf of the newly inaugurated Market Leaders , the ASMATA President, Mr. Lucky Akubueze, thanked the Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu for the opportunity to serve and promised to work in harmony with the government and leaders of the various markets, for the growth and progress of trade and commerce in the state.
The inauguration had in attendance the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade and Investment, Chief Sir Michael Égwu, top government officials and management staff of the Ministry.