By Jennifer John
Imo State Government has given approval for markets in the state to open to customers three times in a week; Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
This approval was granted after a meeting between the state Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma and executive members of the traders union in the state.
He thanked traders in the state for their cooperation and compliance with all the Covid 19 preventive protocols which he posited has contributed to the low number of Covid 19 cases recorded in the state.
The governor pointed out that in the face of everything, the state still needs trading to maintain its economy and made it clear that the government will not continue with policies that inconvenience the traders.
Governor Uzodimma observed with dismay that the past governments did not treat the traders well as most federal government packages meant to boost the business of traders such as; Trader Money, interest free loans were not extended to traders in the state, while different empowerment programmes were done without carrying traders along, whereas they are well organized and pay their taxes.
“I have agreed with the Vice President who has assured me that he will come personally to extend all these empowerment packages to you”.
He requested for the register and database of traders in the state including their; bank account, BVN numbers and their business to be made available to the state government which he said will be used to extend federal and state government packages, including post Covid 19 stimulus package to them
Earlier in his address, the Chairman of ISAMATA, Mr. DonChris Okere extended the appreciation of traders in the state to the governor, for the able way he has been piloting the affairs of the state.
He recalled that the governor pleaded with them to close the markets which he said they complied with and observed all Covid 19 preventive measures. He informed the governor that organized traders in the state have put in place, enough Covid 19 preventive measures and now ready for the opening of markets. He pleaded for the approval of the governor.
Okere appreciated the governor for making them feel a sense of belonging by appointing one of them, a member of the state Covid 19 committee, as well as appointing their members into position of authority, with some of them heading some committees set up by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.