Plateau State governor, Simon Lalong has come out to state that he plans to rebuild the burnt Jos market so as to generate the kind of revenue that will pay the new N30,000 minimum wage.
He also shared that the report that his government budgeted N1.1 billion to bring down the market in 2019 appropriation was only meant to destroy his reputation.
His words, “the report is not very fair. If you understand the history of the Jos main market, you will understand the passion for rebuilding that market.
“That market was blown off years ago and has remained like that. The market was our main source of revenue and I saw it as very necessary to rebuild the main market to address challenges of the state, including that of the minimum wage.
“What somebody saw was the presentation before the budget committee and when he saw N1.1 billion, he said it is for demolition. N1.1 billion cannot be for demolition. There are four components of the demolition and reconstruction of the market. The person saw one aspect and jumped into conclusion.
“The entire process has four components. First, it has to be a special demolition and you know in special demolition, you don’t bring down the entire market.
“We have two proposals, either to bring down the entire market and start building new one or carry out the special demolition and reconstruction and the overhaul of the market. There are the technical aspect, the consultancy aspect and the contract itself.
“So, I have asked them to make everything public so that people will not jump into conclusion that we are demolishing the market. It is not everyone that can do that type of special demolition, in Nigeria it has only been done either twice or thrice.
“I had to travel to South Africa to ensure that if we are going to carry out the demolition, it must be a very special demolition. Otherwise, the next option was to bring down the entire market and start rebuilding. The sum of N1 billion can build a new market.
“The report is wrong and whoever is behind it should get the true facts and he will see that the entire N1.1 billion is not for demolition but for other aspects of the contract including technical, consultancy and the commencement of the rebuilding of that market.”
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