By Sunday Elijah
Coalition of indigenous youths and other stakeholders in Plateau state, northcentral Nigeria, has asked the state government to suspend the proposed reconstruction of the burnt Jos main market until concerns and fears over funding agreement for the contract is addressed.
Their position was made known at a meeting with Government officials in Jos, the state capital.
News of Plateau state government’s partnership with Jaiz bank to rebuild the burnt Jos main market has recently generated tension and controversies, especially on the social media.
The meeting between various indigenous groups and the state government was not unconnected with recent outcry by many people, claiming that Jaiz bank is taking control of the market for forty years before handing it over to the state government as part of the funding agreement.
Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Plateau state chapter, Rev. Father Polycarp Lubo, who was convener of the meeting between the groups and the government said the purpose was aimed at reducing fears arising on social media, of government wanting to mortgage the future of the citizens for forty years.
According to the CAN Chairman, the stakeholders said they were not consulted before government entered into agreement with Jaiz bank on the rebuilding of the Jos main market.
The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Chris Ahmadu who spoke on behalf of the government said the fear of people was as a result of misconception of the contract agreement.
The Commissioner gave and assurance that government had listened to the concerns of the groups and would ensure further consultations are made to best serve the interest of the majority of the people.
Plateau state Government had in March this year during its executive council meeting approved the reconstruction of the burnt Jos Main market through a public private partnership with Jaiz Bank at the cost of over 9 billion naira.