BY CAMI EZENWA
ONITSHA DRUG MARKET, YOU MUST MOVE WITHIN 24 MONTHS –SOLUDO
Onitsha drug market operators have received a 24-month ultimatum to move from their current head bridge location in Onitsha to a new location.
Anambra State governor, Profession Chukwuma Soludo took the bold step at the weekend saying the dealers have no option than to move to their new location in Oba, in Idemili South local government area.
He gave the directive while performing the groundbreaking ceremony of the new location at Oba, explaining that the project would be bankrolled by Sterling Bank Plc.
He identified the facility as the International Drug Coordinated Wholesale Center, saying that the project is in consonance with his administration’s vision of building a liveable and prosperous homeland.
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According to him, the people’s health was of paramount importance to the government and it was for that reason that his government decided to fully introduce measures for adequate regulation in the drug administration sector.
The governor said that when completed, that the new project would become the biggest drug distribution centre in Africa.
With the latest directive, present structures at the head bridge market would be regarded as illegal and therefore open to demolition.
He added that the Oba market would become the only approved location for wholesale drugs distribution in the state after the deadline, expressing optimism that in line with the envisioned smart megacity of his government, the center would be technology-driven.
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He also assured that the abandoned multi- million naira Oba International market would be put to use.
The Eagle reports that this development no doubt would be a shocker to the operators in the market.
No fewer than 5,000 pharmaceutical products dealers at the had late last month, rejected plans by some traders in the market to push them to Oba, suggesting instead to be relocated to Oze, Nkwele Ezunaka/Azu Ogbunike in Oyi Local Government area of the state.
The group under the auspices of Exclusive International Pharmaceutical Center Nigeria Limited, Bridgehead, Onitsha wrote to the Governor Soludo, citing several reasons why Oze Nkwele Ezunaka should be the most ideal place for the proposed relocation instead of Oba.
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According to them, the Oba centre had been riddled with problems, including litigations, ownership claims and counter claims, financial indebtedness and environmental challenges.
These, they contended had been carefully concealed from the government.