Traders across the popular Alade Market in Ikeja, Lagos, have beckoned on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to resume the construction of the 13bn Alade Market Mall, which has been abandoned for four years.
The legal representative of the traders, Ms Yetunde Fasheun-Souza, said that the mall was contracted to a Nigerian firm, Masters Realities International Concepts Limited, in 2016, and a 30-year concession signed between them and the Ikeja Local Government.
She said, “My clients want to move back to the old site of Alade Market. They are not selling here; business is dull but regrettably there is nothing on the ground to show the readiness of the developer to commence reconstruction on the land.”
However, the Group Managing Director of the firm, Mr. Lai Omotola, argued that his company was not to blame for the abandonment.
He explained that the local government did not dispense the required funds for the maintenance of the market’s temporary site.
He said that, “Out of 71 million Naira owed us between 2017 to date, our company has only received 9 million naira.”
However, he also disclosed that his company was resuming the project, adding that the traders can return to the market, once it is completed, only “if they are able to pay for the new shops.”