Bayelsa State Government has reassured traders in the state of its commitment towards providing enablers that would assist them to grow their businesses and contribute to the development of the local economy.
The state Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo gave the assurance on Thursday when a delegation of the Etegwe/Tombia Junction Market Association paid him a courtesy visit at Government House Yenagoa.
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Doubara Atasi, the Deputy Governor said efforts were in top gear to provide low-interest-rate revolving loans to traders to either expand their present businesses or veer into other commercial activities.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo who lamented the situation where the state depends on other states for almost every product or service she consumes urged Bayelsans to embrace entrepreneurship and agriculture.
“Governor Douye Diri’s administration is here to promote prosperity. So, government is ready to partner traders to expand the frontiers of prosperity. One of the key areas of this government is entrepreneurship, the other is agriculture. We won’t give free money, but provide low-interest loans that will help drive the commercial sector in Bayelsa State”.
Responding to the Association’s requests, he said government’s decision to relocate the Etegwe/Tombia Market was taken in the best interest of both traders and the public.
According to the Deputy Governor, the state Airport will soon commence operations with the attendant increase in vehicular movement that could worsen the traffic situation around the Etegwe/Tombia Junction, if proactive measures such as the relocation and ongoing expansion work are not taken.
He said, “It was not our intention to demolish the market, but one of the problems was traffic congestion. Now that international flights will soon start, that area will become busier.
“That is why we are expanding the roundabout. We will also work on the GloryDrive road and also complete the by-pass started by the previous administration to provide a better road network.
“All relevant government officials that are connected with this issue of relocation will meet with your leadership to source out befitting areas where the market can be relocated to. We don’t want traders to waste money on temporary structures when we know that another site will soon be provided for the market”.
On the issue of security, Senator Ewhrudjakpo called on security agencies particularly the Police to intensify their efforts at curbing crime and criminality in the area, noting that reduction of crime was one of the reasons that informed the demolition of illegal structures.
Earlier, the Chairman of Tombia/Etegwe Junction Market Traders Association, Mr. Cameo Korepre, commended the state government’s effort in containing the Coronavirus pandemic and pledged to support the policies and programs of the administration.
Mr Korepre, however, appealed to the government to help provide a market taskforce, relocate the market to a permanent location, as well as provision of temporary sheds to protect their wares from the elements.