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Controversy over rebuilding of Jos Main Market; stakeholders wedge in

by Christiana Gokyo, Jos

Following the controversy over the rebuilding of the Jos Main Market by Jaiz Bank, stakeholders have asked the state governor, Simon Lalong, not to sign any MOU agreement now but to make consultation with citizens of the state at the grassroots.

In a swift response, therefore, the governor has directed the 24 members of the State House of Assembly to make consultations within their constituencies on the Jos Main Market project.

In this line, the Member Representing Jos North in the State House of Assembly, Ibrahim Baba Hassan, has commenced engagement with key stakeholders in Jos North Local Government to fashion out ways for the citizens to understand the economic benefits of rebuilding of the Jos Main Market to be financed by Jaiz Bank.

Speaking during the consultation meeting, Ibrahim Hassan explained that, “Though,   Jaiz Bank is owned by an Islamic body, the bank has no religious or any sentiment embedded whatsoever in its operation rather than serving humanity.”

He explained that, among the financial institutions approached, Jaiz Bank provided the best option – with no interest on its funding of over nine billion naira as against over eighteen billion naira quoted by other institutions.

Our correspondence reports that, the meeting is a continuation of the directives for all members of the House of Assembly to engage and enlighten relevant stakeholders in their respective local government areas. The meeting was held at Jos North Council Chairman’s office, Shehu Usman, in Jos.

The directive was given during an enlarged Town Hall meeting with stakeholders in the state, which advised all Members of the State House of Assembly to engage their various constituents on the economic benefits of rebuilding the Jos Main Market, in collaboration with Jaiz Bank. 

Member Representing Jos North in the Plateau State House of Assembly, Ibrahim Baba Hassan, invited key representatives of various groups, which included some Community Leaders, Development Associations, the Youths, as well as representatives of each tribe in the area.

According to him, the meeting shall continue with different groups to enable citizens understand the content of the planned Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Jaiz Bank. 

He noted that, the market when built will be allocated to interested groups through the State’s 17 Local Governments.

Hon Baba Hassan, who acknowledged the outcry of citizens, said that the planned Memorandum Of Understanding will be clear and explicit in its terms and conditions, stating that, “Governor Simon Lalong means well for Plateau and has no plans to mortgage the future of the state, as it is being speculated in some quarters.”

Contributing, Chairman of Jos North Local Government, Shehu Bala Usman, called on the stakeholders to step down the engagement to the grassroots, and promised to give a listening ear to all stakeholders to contribute their quota towards the rebuilding of the market.

In their separate contributions, stakeholders appreciated the steps taken by the government towards rebuilding the Jos Main Market, but queried the “lack of earlier engagements that would have prevented negative responses to the good initiative;” and they promised to take the messages down to their people.

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