The government of Oyo state has announced that the redevelopment of the popular Ogunpa Market will commence today Monday. It said the project would be undertaken through a public-private partnership.
The decision to commence the project was reached at the end of a meeting held between the stakeholders and the state government at the House of Chiefs, Parliament Building, Ibadan, on Friday. It would be recalled that the government’s resolve to transform the market through a PPP arrangement had generated tension among the traders and other stakeholders.
Some of the traders were afraid that since the project would be executed by a private developer, they might not be able to afford the cost of the shops, which they said might be exorbitant. They were also worried that the original traders in the market might be shut out upon completion, while the completed shops might be allocated to more influential people.
The meeting was attended by the representatives of the State Government; the Chairman, Oyo State Market Advisory Council, Alhaji Dauda Oladapo; his deputy, Mrs. Abake Lawal; and other markets leaders. Others in attendance included representatives of the Nigerian Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps; Department of State Services; Ogunpa Market; and Chairman of the State branch of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Alhaji Taofeek Oyerinde.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi was represented by a former Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Mr. Segun Abolarinwa. He assured the stakeholders that the interest of the traders would be adequately taken care of.
He said the state government decided to adopt the PPP model for the development of the market following the current economic realities that had made such partnership inevitable.
“At least 1000 shops is being planned to replace the existing Ogunpa market. The project is expected to be completed before the end of the year. It is in line with the vision of the Governor to transform the State,” he said.
“I want to assure the stakeholders that no underhand dealings will be permitted in the course of the project and in the allocation of the shops. No individual will be allowed to acquire multiple shops to the detriment of others.
“We followed the due process by calling for bids in newspaper publications and we selected three out of the bidders. The developer we eventually chose has a track record of achievements.”
According to Bolarinwa, the Market Advisory Council and the executive members of the Ogunpa Market Traders Association would be involved in the allocation of the shops upon completion. Furthermore, he said all necessary enumeration had been done and that no trader would be allowed to have more than one shop.