The determination and commitment of the Governor Rauf Aregbesola led administration in Osun State to make the state the hub of commerce received a boost recently with the commissioning of an ultra modern market, Ayegbaju International Market in Osogbo, Osun State Capital.
Market men, market women, artisans and shop owners were full of praises and prayers when the tw-phased new market which cost the state government a whopping sum of N2.3billion was commissioned with fanfare.
The commissioning was attended by dignitaries from all walks of life. The Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Oyetunji Larooye II appeared happiest of all the guests that witnessed the occasion being the traditional head of Osogbo, the state capital.
He drove to the venue of the event in convoy of other traditional rulers from across the state.
Though there had beene markets in Osogbo, the capital city of Osun State all this while, they were more of street or roadside markets where people display their goods and wares by the streets and roadsides.
The implications had been that whenever the market was in session, such as at the markets at Igbona, Olu-Ode, Sabo, Orisumbare, MDS, Alekunwodo, Akindeko among others, there would be traffic gridlock along these busy roads and making life unbearable for motorists.
Effort by the then Colonel Theophilus Bamigboye military regime in the state to construct the new Orisumbare Market at MDS area could not however assuage the situation as the market was inadequate even as it was not meant for agricultural goods and food items.
Nevertheless, the current administration on assumption of office facilitated the construction and establishment of three markets at the same time in a bid to restore the old commercial activities of Osogbo. The markets are Ayegbaju, Dagbolu and Aje International Markets.
As at the time of filling this report, Aje International Market is also nearing completion.
One unique facility provided at the market is the online shopping and home delivery services tagged: e-business. It is the first online shopping facility in the South West of Nigeria.
The Ayegbaju market built on eight hectares of land was conducted under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement in collaboration with Unity Bank. The market is also equipped with facilities such as mini stalls, open stalls, warehouses, locked-up shops, exclusive shops, fire station, police station, banks, medical centre, church, bukataria, meat and fish stalls, washbay, coldrooms, cafeteria, public toilets, roads networks, drainages, an entrance with a gatehouse and public toilets among other facilities.
Others are administrative and maintenance offices, administrative lodge, market coordinator office, mosque, car parks, electrical transformers and distribution network, CCTV Cameras and installation of public address system, under-ground and overhead water tank, two industrial bore holes, water reticulation and generators.
Besides, provision was made to accommodate petty traders, sellers of food items and ingredients to facilitate easy access to domestic needs of users of the market.
Speaking at the commissioning event, the State Commissioner for Special Duties and Regional Integration, Barrister Bashir Ajibola said that the project was aimed to ensure the return Osogbo to her old commercial centre status where people from far and near would come to trade.
He said that since the creation of the state, there has not been a time when the structural and social transformation of the state been attended to with such zeal and passion as that of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
He noted that the people of the state began to see; have the feeling of and comprehend Aregbesola’s plan of action within his first 100 days in office.
Ajibola noted that Aregbesola should be celebrated for embarking on the project, noting that even against all odds from the opposition, the Aregbesola administration has decided to be accountable to the people of Osun.
“In line with Mr. Governor’s philosophy of inclusive economic growth, he has directed Osun Property Development Corporation (OSPDC), Omoluabi Savings and Loans Plc and Osun Investment Company Ltd. to acquire shops for onward disposition to Osun residents and civil servants at highly subsidised rates and payable installmentally.
“These, government have through the agencies currently have100 lock-up shops; 50 mini stalls; 30 open stalls and 12 exclusive offices available. These shops will be distributed to genuine but indigent traders at favourable and liberal payment terms.
He disclosed further that Governor Aregbesola has approved the construction of modern market in all the cities under the urban renewal programmes of the state.
The developer of the market, Engineer Olufemi Oshoniyi of Edward Property Konsult Limited disclosed the project was in line with the Six Point Integral Action Plan of Governor Rauf Aregbesola to banish poverty, hunger and provide employment among others.
He assured that the third phase of the project will be completed soon adding that the layout of the market and roads were named after some indigene of Osogbo for their struggle, commitment, hardwork, and contribution to the growth and success of Osogbo and the State in general.
The Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun expressed appreciation to the Governor for the wonderful feat.
He opined that the people of Osogbo will forever be grateful to the administration of Aregbesola for turning Osogbo the state capital into what he described as a mega-city through various infrastructural developments.
In her own remark, the Iyaloja General, Alhaja Awawu Asindemade appreciated the governor for his genuine interest in the affairs of the market women and the people of the state at large.
Alhaja Asindemade said the market will not only boost the economy of the state but also affect the lives of the entire citizenry positively
Performing the commissioning of the market, Governor Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola expressed his administration’s commitment to the welfare of the people of the state irrespective of their religion or political affiliation promising to make Osun the nerve centre of commerce in the South West and Nigeria at large.
The elated governor said the successful construction of the market was a testimony that his administration’s less than four years rule could not be compared with the seven and a half years of his predecessor.
Aregbesola said he was happy that the people of the state appreciated his government for its various development projects, saying that the acceptability of his programmes and projects continued to motivate him to do more.
While saying that the development the people of the state was a tip of the iceberg in what he would do when re-elected for second term, Aregbesola said the development agenda of his administration has translated to progress for individuals saying that the people of the state should consider themselves lucky to witness the transformation that is going on in the state.
He noted that the height of urbanisation in any society is the development of modern markets which has the ability to develop the economy of such a society.
Aregbesola who opined that the market will be the first centre of commerce in the state, described its commissioning as a celebration of wealth, commercialisation and the market women whom he described as the major stakeholders.
He added that the Ayegbaju International market will be followed by other equally big markets in all the nine major cities that have been listed for the urban renewal programme of the present administration.
He explained that his administration has continued to embark on people oriented projects aimed at improving the economic status of the state, and impact, positively on the lives of its people.
Expressing the optimism that the market will definitely enhance the economy of the state, the number one citizen in the state assured the people of the state that his administration will continue to strive for the growth of the state saying it is the main reason he is in government.