Anambra Government has constituted a new leadership that would run the affairs of market associations in the state, known as Anambra State Amalgamated Traders Association (ASMATA).
The ASMATA leadership made up of 20 members is led by Mr Ikechukwu Ekwegbalu and Mrs Rosemary Anazodo, as acting President-General and Secretary respectively.
Commissioner for Trade and Commerce, Dr Christian Madubuko, constituting the body in his office at the weekend in Awka, announced that Chief Godwin Okeke, Chief Innocent Chukwuma of Innoson Motors and Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka as patrons of ASMATA.
Madubuko also inaugurated leaders for the six zones of the association and two-man legal advisers and two-man advisers on markets.
He said the state government revived the defunct ASMATA as replacement for Amalgamated Traders Association, Anambra State (AMATAS) which was formed about 12 years ago.
He said AMATAS failed to hold a peaceful election to replace the out gone leadership and refused the state government to intervene in their matter.
The commissioner said ASMATA was now the only umbrella body recognised by Anambra Government, adding that their operation would not be affected by whatever would be the outcome of the suit initiated by AMATAS against the government.
“We instituted a new umbrella body for traders in Anambra, sometime ago, during Dr Chris Ngige’s regime, the state government introduced ASMATA but unfortunately that noble association that would have united traders in the state was abolished and replaced with AMATAS.
“AMATAS has been there for the past 12 years but unfortunately, they were not able to conduct a credible election.
“It became marred with crisis of leadership and state government stepped in but AMATAS said they were a Non Governmental Organisations and government has no say in their affairs.
“They went to court to claim that government has no place in their affairs but we don’t want to go to court with anybody.
“So, we decided to revive ASMATA as the umbrella body that is recognised by government, so AMATAS can go to court, run the case and do with it whatever they want,” he said.
Madubuko said the new ASMATA leadership has tenure of three months during which an election would be conducted, adding that it was subject to renewal in the event that election was not held for any reason.
The commissioner, however, applauded the performance of AMATAS for piloting the affairs of the market well during its 12 years of existence but noted that the government did not receive revenues accruable to it due to leakages.
He charged the new team not to shortchange government, warning that culprit’s would be sacked if caught.
Ezeonwuka, one of the patrons of ASMATA, said the focus was to restore the glory days of Anambra as a commerce state and optimise the opportunities in the sector for economic prosperity of the people. (NAN)