In an exclusive interview with ECHONEWS NEWSPAPERS, the IYALOJA OF ASWANI MARKET, Chief (Mrs.) Sherifat Faronbi spoke extensively on the state of affairs of the Markets in Lagos.
Question: Can you please introduce yourself ma?
Answer: I am Chief Mrs. Sherifat Faronbi, the Iyaloja of Aswani Market.
Question: For how many years have you been the iyaloja?
Answer: It’s been over two years now.
Question: How have you been able to control the affairs of this vast Aswani Market?
Answer: It has been God. One must deal calmly with the traders because different kinds of traders come here to trade their goods. I also have people here with whom, we control the market together; God has been taking perfect control.
Question: How have you been able to manage the levies, which is one of the obligations of the traders?
Answer: Hmmmm… Shop fee or space fee doesn’t go into the Iyaloja’s account rather the government’s account. The money Iyaloja collects is just maintenance fee, which is just a token and it is meant for maintaining the market. We also collect refuse dues; this goes directly to LAWMA for waste management.
Question: Still on maintenance issue, ma’am, concerning the devastating dumping site at the extreme end of the market, is there any step being taken in making the refuse site a better place that will have no health threat to the traders and everyone who come to the market?
Answer: Thank you, we are taking actions, as it is now, we rent trucks to pack the dirt there because the LAWMA haven’t been coming around lately so, we rent trucks and pay them to extract cart away for now. We’ve also gone to LAWMA office concerning the issue so, we are expecting them.
Question: About the development in the market, ma’am. Why have there been a long time delay in the on-going ultra-modern building, work had stopped on it.
Answer: They will complete it by God’s grace, work will resume on it soonest. It seems the developer had little problem with bank but it had been resolved. By the grace of God, work will resume, soon.
Question: Aside from the on-going market construction, what are the other development the traders should be expecting?
Answer: By the grace of God, when they’ve finished building that which is the phase one, work will begin on the phase 2 which will be at the other side of the market. May God help us; this market is a big one. People come to trade here in Aswani. This market will still experience much development.
Question: As enormous as this market is, how do you combat the issue of petty thieves?
Answer: Thank you, we have an active task force, when I was coroneted as the Iyaloja, I put in place the task force and we have representatives in every section of the market. If the representative should raise an alarm concerning anything unusual within the market, we send the task force over there to see into it. The work of the task force is to monitor market activities and ensure nothing illicit or illegal is going on. That is one of the ways we’re taking to ensure the market has a conducive and serene atmosphere for trader in terms of business transaction.
Question: In what ways have the market been supported by government especially the state government?
Answer: At present, we are still earnestly waiting for government’s intervention in terms of market development. But we believe as soon as the on-going ultramodern market building is completed, government will amply pour in their support. Our amiable governor, our benefactor, Gov Ambode will have mercy on us.
Question: Specifically, in what aspect of the market will you want the governor to see into?
Answer: We want him to see into electricity supply, water supply in the market but, now that the market is still under construction we want it to be a standard one. We need standby generators, borehole water. We are hopelessly calling on our father, our merciful father, our benefactor, Gov Ambode to help us develop the market to meet national and international standards.
Question: As we all know the local government to be the government of the grassroots, what support do you think the market need from them especially from Isolo LCDA precisely.
Answer: Actually, Isolo LCDA is the closest and nearest to the market, they should assist us in any way they can. Maybe after the election, chairmanship’s election, we can tender our needs to them also but, as at now, they should support the market in any way they can.
Question: In overview ma’am, can you appreciate the present Governor Ambode-led administration in one word for the perceived high level of development in the state?
Answer: May God keep prospering Gov. Ambode’s handwork. May he take us to the promise land because he said he has great plan for this state and we are seeing it in terms of road construction, transportation among others. May Almighty God continue to assist him. The governor should help us control prices of goods because most of the traders take advantage of the exchange rate, especially dollar, to inflate the price of goods and services, this is not supposed to be so;generally, may God keep help us all.