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Nigeria: Plateau Indigenes Tackle Gov. Lalong On Plans To Hand Over Jos Main Market To Islamic Bank

The indigenes faulted the process and describe it as fraudulent

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By Sunday Elijah

A group known as Plateau daughters in University of Jos, Plateau state north central Nigeria has drained against the decision of the State government to engage the reconstruction of the Jos Ultra Modern Main-Market by Jaiz Bank PLC.

The group in a joint statement with indigenous ethnic groups made available to AFRICA PRIME NEWS describes the move by the State government under the leadership of governor Simon Lalong to give the reconstruction of the market as fraudulent and an opportunity to embezzle public funds through blotted projects.

According to them, “the award of bogus unrealistic so-call legacy projects of about fifty Billion naira (50,000,000,000.00) and over inflated Over-Head Bridge at British/America Junction and now, a very unfavorable poorly negotiated Jaiz Bank/Government MOU on the Jos Ultramodern Main Market Contracts being pursued belatedly only to serve as conduit pipes to drain scarce public funds of the State as well as selfish desire to commandeer shops and allocate same to so-call party’s stakeholders and other cronies.”

Raising concerns on the ability of the plateau state government to complete the projects before the expiration of its tenure come may 29th 2023, plateau daughters in the University said the governor “Lacked the legitimacy to mortgage the financial viability of Plateau State and indeed, the future of the youths in a dubious contract/MOU lasting 40 years. This is reckless, biased and evil for anyone that calls himself a patriotic leader.”

While calling for a protest objecting the scheduled signing of the Memorandum of understanding between the State government and the bank, the statement vehemently resist the decision of the State government.

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The old Jos main market, gutted by fire in 2002


Jos Main Market Fire.

In 2002, residents of Jos were woken to the terrifying news of the Jos main market, popularly called the terminus Market being razed.

The market which was strategic was major source of revenue to the state, with the inferno, while traders and business owners mourned the loss of property worth millions of Naira, the state government groaned over the loss of revenue and a strategic monument.

Although committees were set up to investigate the cause of fire, it’s findings were not made public.

Different conspiracy theories trailed the incident with ethnic and religious groups pointing accusing fingers at each other.

Demolition of Jos Main Market

After the fire incident, the market laid fallow for many years with little commitment by government to rebuild it.

While it rot, it was slowly being occupied by traders, who took shelter in partially damaged spaces to sell their wares.

Upon assumption of office, governor Simon Lalong made commitments to rebuild the market and resuscitate the moribund JOS International Brewery as part of his economic recovery plan for the state.

In 2019, the market was demolished at the cost of one billion Naira, a development the suffered criticism from the public.

In twenty twenty two, the news of rebuilding the market resurfaced with Jaiz Bank being a partner.

Jaiz Bank and the Controversy of the JOS Main-Market funding Project.

Jaiz Bank is an commercial bank which runs the Islamic system of Banking.

The Bank has a few Branches in plateau state.

The suspicion of plateau people is not far fetched from the numerous ethno-religious conflicts that have bedevilled the state over the years with accusations and counter accusations of the Muslim minority trying to dominate the state.

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