From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
The Taskforce Committee inaugurated by Kano state government, saddled with the responsibility of dismantling illegal make-shift shops and kiosks around markets and the streets of the ancient commercial city has commenced operation.
The Chaiirman of the Taskforce who doubles as the Managing Director of Kano Road Traffic Agency (KAROTA), Baffa Babba Dan’agundi, told journalists that the exercise was part of the efforts of the state government to restore the original master plan of Kano.
The AUTHORITY reports that the Taskforce has representatives from the Department of State Security (DSS), the Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) and Refuse Management and Sanitation Board (REMASAB).
Dan’agundi who addressed journalists on Thursday shortly after inspecting some of the affected road side shops, expressed worry that some traders have abandoned shops built inside the markets only to erect make-shift shops on the road side, constituting nuisance to road users, a well as distorting the original master plan and beauty of the ancient commercial city.
He described their action as illegal, insisting that the Taskforce has the mandate to clean up the shops and kiosks, as government has made available enough space inside the markets for them to do their business.
Dan Agundi particularly mentioned markets at Sabuwar Tasha, Ungogo, Kofar Ruwa and Nassarawa Industrial Area, which he said were built for traders, but were abandoned only for them to erect illegal shops on the road side.
According to him, the markets, with over 5,000 shops combined have been equipped with amenities and adequate security, but regretted that the traders deserted the markets for rodents and criminals.
He further explained that already, the state government has given traders operating illegally at Sabon Gari market, Singer market, Wapa Ya’nbabura a notice of six months to transfer to those designated markets.
Dan’agundi however stated that since the notice has elapsed, the Taskforce has concluded plans to launch operation to dismantle illegal shops and structures in those markets.
He added that, “you have seen yourselves. I have conducted you round and you have seen the markets provided by the state government for over 10 years but these people refused to go back there.
“We have now launched the operation and anybody found wanting in flouting this order will be punished accordingly. We have set aside punitive measures.”
Dan’agundi further stated that the idea behind the operation is to decongest the metropolis and allow free flow of vehicular and pedestrian movement.