The Authority investigation has revealed that contractors handling the ongoing Ekummi Shopping Plaza very close to A-Line at Ariaria International market Aba in Abia State, spent about N36 million to cart away debris from the site before the project could get off the ground.
This is because the site which shares borders with Umuode road as well as Ariaria market and the site was originally a refuse dump site serving residents of the area as well as traders in the market.
One of the directors, Dr. Barr. Uju Anusionwu who spoke to the Authority at the site had confirmed that the firm is collaborating with Diamond Bank Plc, to actualize the dream of having a market inside a market, just as he further disclosed that the site of the project was formerly a refuse dumping site, which was first reclaimed by the association before beginning the multi naira project aimed at boosting commercial activities in the capital city.
According to Dr. Anusionwu, shortly after the reclamation of the land, the firm brought in soil experts who tested the soil texture before piling work could begin at the site of the multi million naira plaza.
“There won’t be any shaking, cracking or collapsing of the shops. You cannot see it anywhere in the South East for now. We want to give comfort to those in the market since greater part of their time is spent in the market”, Dr. Anusionwu told the Authority.
According to him also, there can’t be cases of inferno in the plaza having checked that in the planning of the plaza which he said will be leased out for a period of ninety nine years in its effort to ensure that people own shops without much sweat.
He posited that the commercial city of Aba has a unique position in commerce in the country, drawing customers from all over the western coast and beyond, and that this was one of the major reasons why the plaza was situated near the Ariaria International market.
An inside source told the AUTHORITY that the project is expected to turn out about 2,000 shops at the plaza and further revealed that the project will be completed by the first quarter of year 2017.
Meanwhile efforts are underway to reconstruct the roads leading into the plaza in order to make it accessible to both traders and buyers even as this measure will also help traders in Ariaria international market even as provisions have been made for a banking hall, maternity, cold rooms, conveniences for both males and females as well as a car park to accommodate vehicles of both traders and buyers.
The contracting firm has assured that the issue of flooding will not be experienced at the plaza, as an interlocking drainage system has been built to check flood in that area.