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Anambra Traders Reject Proposed Relocation

About 5,000 traders dealing in medicine at the Ogbogwu International Market in Onitsha, Anambra State, have rejected proposed plans to relocate them to Oba community as directed by the Federal Government.

The dealers, under the auspices of Exclusive International Pharmaceutical Centre Nigeria Limited, Bridgehead Onitsha, said they preferred Oze, Nkwele Ezunaka/Azu Ogbunike in Oyi Local Government Area, as the most suitable site for the proposed Coordinated Wholesale Centre (CWC).

They appealed to Governor Chukwuma Soludo to allow them move to Oze Nkwele Ezunaka instead of Oba which, according to them, is being projected by ‘certain individuals with ulterior motives despite its numerous challenges’.

A letter by their legal representative, Anugu Offor explained that the government had earlier approved the Ogbunike centre as the most ideal in view of its size and topography.

The letter reads: “Oba centre has been riddled with so many encumbrances, ranging from litigation, ownership claims and counter claims, financial indebtedness and environmental challenges which its promoters carefully concealed and suppressed from the benefiting public.

“Beside, there is serious dispute over the Oba land bordering on claims by the original indigenous communities over unlawful expropriation of the land by the government without compensation. Again is the subsequent grant of lease of the said land by the government to a private developer, which led to litigation between owners of the Oba land and government and the private developer.

“While work has begun at the Ogbunike site within a short space of receiving government approval, there’s no evidence of any construction or physical development on the Oba land since 2016 when the decision was made by market’s past regime.

“Majority of the Ogbogwu traders opposed to the choice of Oba have staged several protests and letters to the Registrar, Pharmacist Council of Nigeria, and several market authorities and Office of the Commissioner for Trade, Commence, Market and Wealth creation.”

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria had proposed establishment of a Coordinated Wholesale Centre (CWC) for sales and distribution of drug materials in Nigeria following the Federal Government’s policy to ensure healthy environment for sales and distribution of drugs and pharmaceutical products, and to close all open markets for sale and distribution of drugs.

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