The Gombe State Executive Council has approved the sum of N370,316,614,87 as consultancy services for the construction and upgrade of 27 markets.
Addressing journalists after the ninth State Executive Council Meeting in Gombe, which was presided over by Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, the Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr. Julius Ishaya, said the approved funds were for the engagement of consultants to enable them assess the markets, design and produce Bill of Quantities and the Engineering Best Estimates.
Bringing dividends of democracy to the people
Ishaya said the decision was taken as part of Governor Yahaya’s campaign promises to the people to bring dividends of democracy down to the grassroots and improve the revenue generating capacity of the markets.
Explaining further on the issue, the Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Alhaji Muhammad Nasiru Aliyu, said 10 out of the markets would be new Model Markets, while the remaining 17 would be upgraded at the cost of eight billion naira.
Alhaji Aliyu said after due assessment of the markets in all 11 local government areas, the consultant would be saddled with the responsibility of designs, Bill of Quantities, supervision and monitoring of the project to conclusion.
He said the contract sum for the construction and upgrade of the 27 markets was N8,499,398,393,69, out of which N370m had now been approved as consultancy fee to enable the contractors go round the market, designe and produce Bill of Quantities and the Engineering Best Estimates.
Reason for the construction and upgrade
The Gombe State Commissioner of Commerce, Industry and Tourism said the decision to build new markets in some places and upgrade others was borne out of the peculiarities of each environment, because some communities would prefer leaving their markets in their original location.
“When you go to some places, they will not like their markets to be shifted. They have their cultural beliefs. So, what we did was to involve all the stakeholders, get their opinions and seek for their advice on how best to build in the locations they prefer”, Alhaji Aliyu said.
He said the government considered the cost of either construction or upgrade and where it felt upgrading would attract compensation and cost the government more, it moved to new grounds to build new ones.
Alhaji Aliyu said all 27 markets had been designed to include all the infrastructure that were required in standard markets, with warehouses constructed in the Grains Markets to store farm produce and Loading Bases for the cattle Markets.
Aliyu said the rationale behind constructing and upgrading of the markets was to ensure that farmers get value for their money, by getting their produce to the market in very good conditions.
“It was observed that for a very long time, no effort was made to improve on their situation and the living condition of these people. Majority of our people go to the markets. Most of them are farmers.
You will find that the farmer will take his grains to the market and when there is rain, he will have nowhere to hide. Then the rain will just spoil his farm produce”, he said.
State of emergency in water and sanitation
Similarly, the Gombe State Executive Council approved the declaration of
state of emergency on Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene, a national project, where states were urged to key into.
The Gombe State Commissioner of Youths and Sports, Mr. Julius Ishaya, said the decision became necessary because available national statistics showed that only 36 local government areas in Nigeria had successfully dealt with the issue of open defecation.
He said based on that, the issue had become an emergency requiring urgent attention, hence the approval by the state government to join other states to declare a state of emergency.
According to Mr. Ishaya, a date will be fixed for the official declaration.
Source: Voice of Nigeria