Traders at the newly constructed Kubwa market have commended the Bwari Council for modernising the market.
Madam Chioma Obunselu, a second hand clothes seller at the Maitama Ultra-Modern Market, Kubwa, said she used to display her products along the old market roadside before it was demolished.
“Before, we used to quarrel with okada riders and commercial bus operators for space, now I have managed to secure a shop in the new market and it’s a dream come true,” she said, while expressing her happiness over the renovation of the Maitama Ultra-Modern Market, Kubwa.
Another trader, Best Ogbedengbe, who deals in GSM items, said “we are happy that there are reforms in FCT markets and the results are there for anybody to see and verify. It is therefore certain that we are never going back to the dark days of congestion and squalor that is associated with unplanned markets”.
Engr Rabiu Sa’id, Director, H & I Construction Ltd., the firm that handled the remodeling of the market, said from an initial number of 300 makeshift stalls inherited, the market has been upgraded to 1,467 shops, warehouses and cold rooms of various sizes.
Engr. Sa’id, who is also the director of M N Ataj, a sister company of H & I Const. Ltd., said it is the desire of the company to make FCT markets meet the best of standards as obtained in developed countries, especially in the provision of physical infrastructure and modernity that would excite and attract tourists from all over the world.
He said “it is about 3.8 hectares, and is the biggest market and the oldest in Kubwa town. The market was relocated from Maitama district of Abuja when the original inhabitants of Maitama were relocated to Kubwa. It is central in Kubwa and has the highest business activities. Hitherto it consisted of shanties, uncompleted buildings and accommodated drug peddlers, beer parlours, with only a part used as the market.
“So Bwari Area Council, in conjunction with security agencies, decided to demolish and remodel the market so that it will increase business activities.”
Engr. Sa’id further explained: “We were invited to bid in March 2016 and won but we had legal issues to settle with the market people there, the community around the place, but we settled out of court.
“We sat down and had a MoU with the community; a lot of going back and forth, and notices were given, finally the demolition of the market was done and work actually commenced in December 2016. The market consists of 1,500 shops on a two-storey building.
“When we came in, we took a census of the occupants of the market, we had about 560 people so with 1,500 shops it means we’ve almost tripled the capacity of the market. We have open stalls which go for as low as N980,000; we have standard retail shops for about N4 million; bigger retail shops for about N5 million; warehouses for about N10 million; cold rooms, banking hall, fire service and restaurants.
“There is enough parking space and we are going to improve roads around the market,” he stated.
Other facilities in the new market, he said, included a police station and 50 toilets located at strategic locations in the market.
Bwari Area Council chairman, Mr. Musa Dikko, in his remarks, said the idea of building the market was conceived by the Isa Bwari administration 10 years ago. He commended his effort, and also that of H &I Construction Ltd. for delivering the project in two years instead of the 10 years earlier planned.
Also, Ahmed Mahmud Mu’azu, Managing Director H & I Construction Ltd., said “in Kubwa Maitama Market, we have provided about 300 spaces for those that sell perishables – we call them open stalls – those are the stalls that go for as low as N980,000.
“You can see that these people now own property in a modern, safe and secure environment, we are creating value,” the MD said.