UTC Remodeling: 472 Shop Owners To Relocate To Temporary Site
Ahead of the proposed remodelling of the popular Union Trading Company, UTC, building at Area 10, the FCT Administration has announced that over 472 shop owners in the complex will be relocate to the completed temporary site beside the existing market.
The relocation is coming two years after the agreement signed by Abuja Investment Company Limited on behalf of the FCTA, with Urban Shelter Limited, in 2021.
However, after the delay due to pockets of resistance from a section of the UTC Market, a former Chairman of Area 7 Traders Association, Larry Ajayi, told our correspondent that 464 traders and shop owners have been verified and ready to vacate the market and relocate to the temporary place so as to pave way for its proposed remodelling.
He said traders were now desperate to move to the temporary site inside the proposed multi level car park site opposite the Arts and Culture Centre, due to fears that bulldozers can visit anytime to pull down the market.
Ajayi, disclosed that about 464 traders have been verified, and given letters of allocation, which states that they are having the right of first refusal for the shops that are going to be built at the old site.
He noted that there are about 432 shops at the old site, but those trading inside are close to 700, as some are partitioning shops to accommodate two, to three traders in a single shop.
This, Ajayi said will enable those who are not actual shop owners get the opportunity of owning their own shops after the remodelling.
He disclosed that the traders paid certain amount for the shops at the temporay site, while the developer did other things like the roofing, wiring, flooring and plastering for them.
“All of us agreed that there is need for remodelling as the place is dilapidated as it is finished already. If you enter the market, you will see many portions of the roof that have fallen off, leaving traders around there vulnerable to incurring loss whenever it rains. So what’s the essence of staying there again?
“So, everyone agreed that there should be remodelling, which is one of the resolutions. Secondly, there should be a temporary place to continue our business while the construct is going on. They suggested moving us to Kaura District Market but everybody insisted that they should give us this one( the site for the proposed multi level car park opposite Arts and Culture Centre) because we want to be around seeing the construction going on, so that they won’t take it away from them.”
Meanwhile, the technical coordinator, Urban Shelter Limited, Engr Ayodele Kolawole, said necessary measures have been put in place to ensure that no body is disrupted of his or her livelihood or shortchanged.
Kolawole who stated this during the inspection of the temporary market site on Saturday, noted that the UTC market building was becoming a slum and a threat to the lives of traders and customers, considering its years of existence.
He added that the remodeling, which will last for a period of two years, would be done in sections, as part of the resolutions reached with the traders, shop owners, Abuja market management, Urban Shelter Limited and Abuja Investment Company.
Credit: Abuja Inquirer Online