The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of the National Association of Nigeria Traders (NANT) requested Minister of the FCT, Nyesom Wike, on Sunday to make store rentals in Abuja more reasonable.
The traders brought the minister’s attention to their issue while addressing reporters on their upcoming election on November 14th, 2023.
The chairman of NANT, Edozie Ugwu said: “Among the problems we appealed to the minister to help us address the issue of making shop rents affordable; stopping public office holders, public and civil servants from ownership of shops and placing unaffordable rents on them and; reducing high interests rents and stiff conditions banks place on loans.
“The rent issue and many other challenges has not only been putting our members out of business, but also contributing in no small measure to the rise in the prices of goods and services in the nation’s capital.”
Ugwu, however, informed that the reason behind their ordeal was as a result of giving out markets to estate developers who usually fix their prices or rents, as the case may be at abnormal profits to the detriment of traders.
He also informed that other problems they have been passing through, apart from multiple taxation, was sharing of shops in any new market by the public office holder, public and civil servants, who in turn either sell or rent them to the real traders at unaffordable rate.
Appealing to the minister to allocate vast area of land to the traders in each of the six area councils of the FCT, for the purpose of building markets or even build markets and give them to the traders at meagre rate, Ugwu charged the incoming executives to ensure that they outperform his outgoing ones, even as he enumerated the achievements of the executives under his watch.
Among his achievements, according to him were; starting pension scheme for members; registering NANTs Cooperative Society for them; obtaining soft loans during and after COVID 19 pandemic from Central Bank of Nigeria, commercial and microfinance banks and making members landlords in the FCT, having been building shops and plazas in the nation’s capital for traders, among which was the Apo Shopping Mall, which he said has reached to 60% completion.