It’s nearly two decades since Jos main market was gutted by fire and nothing has been done by government, organisation or individual to rebuild the market despite its huge benefit to the people of Plateau state.
The ultra-modern market located at Jos, the capital city, attracts thousands of people daily from different states of the federation. The most fascinating part is that the market was more than a trading center. It was also a tourist attraction.
People from neighbouring countries of Niger, Cameroon, Benin Republic and Chad visit the market for both business and tourism before it was destroyed by a mysterious fire.
The uniqueness of the market made it to be the only one of its type in Nigeria. The market had shop accommodation for at least 3,500 traders with an open space at the base of the market that could accommodate nothing less than 2000 shops.
Notwithstanding, it has banks, restaurants, fire service and police station, post office, car park, warehouses, among others, for the comfort of the business men, women as well as the staff of the market.
The fire incident brought the state’s economy to its knees by sending thousands of traders out of business; it threw thousands of staff out of work, crippled the state tourism as well as affectef the peace of the state as many of the people who incurred losses turned to robbery.
Billions of naira and properties were destroyed. In fact, the losses recorded during the event cannot be exactly quantified to the extent that traders committed suicide, ran crazy, following the huge losses encountered.
Painfully, despite its huge economic benefit to the state and Nigeria, by extension, it was expected to be quickly reconstructed but nothing has been done to date. The state government promised to rebuild the market through public-private partnership on several occasions. The promise seems to be in vain as it keeps affecting the state’s economy and the welfare of its citizens day in day out.
However, the market has now become a hideout for criminals as well as rapists. Precisely, the market has become a huge embarrassment to the Plateau state government and the federation as a whole.
Therefore, I’m appealing to the federal and state governments to quickly fix the market as it’s adding to the predicaments of Plateau state indigenes, particularly Jos residents.
Also, Jos city itself is in serious turmoil when it comes to the issue of insecurity, as the devils use such advantage to perpetrate their acts hence the place has become a bunk that accommodate all sorts of criminals.
Umar Muhammad Abubakar,Department of Mass Communication,University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Borno state