Traders cry out over plans by NUDB to demolish business premises
By Ummi Ismaeel-Minna
Owners of shops and kioks around high brow residential part of London Street, semi-urban Maitumbi and shops adjacent the Minna ultra-modern market western by-pass in Minna, the state capital have kicked against plans by the Niger State Urban Development Board (NUDB) to demolish such facilities as doing so would affect their sources of livelihood.
Niger State government through the NUDB last week sent out notice of intent to demolish makeshift shops, kioks and attachments to buildings used as shops to close them up, pack out or risk being bulldozed out of such illegal structures.
But the angry affected traders who described the planned demolition of their business premises as part of the present government’s acts of insensitivity and recklessness said that they would protect their source of livelihood.
“The state government is embarking on an unpopular exercise that will bring about greater pains, penury and disempowerment to an already pauperised population, no thanks to the bad economy of the state,” the affected petty traders pointed out.
Hajiya Fatima Usman, one of the affected persons at her London street shop which is also attached to her residence, warned the Governor Sani Bello-led government against invoking the wrath of God by denigrating the poor, stiffling their sources of income.
A businessman, who owns a kiosk adjascent to the Minna central market, Alhaji Lawal Maikanti, accused the Bello-led government of insensitivity to the plight of the poor masses.
“Some NUDB officials are not only dishonest but criminally minded. They had earlier approved of such shops, kioks and attachments and had even collected monies from the owners only to start threatening them to remove it again,” he said.
Beside this, owners of such shops, kioks and attachments, said that pay monthly revenue to both Chanchaga local government area and Niger State Revenue Board and therefore wondered why the places could be described as illegal after making them to part with hard earned monies.