THE Anambra State Commissioner for Environment, Arch. Michael Okonkwo, yesterday, put the uncertainty concerning trading on roads and streets of urban cities of Anambra state to rest once and for all, stating categorically that he has asked them to stay off the roads and streets permanently to designated markets across the state.
The Commissioner who stated this at a press conference, organize by the Ministry in Awka, the State Capital, also urged the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Operation Clean and Healthy Anambra OCHA-Brigade, Anambra Traffic Management Agency ATMA and Police to in partnership with the Ministry help maintain traffic challenges on our roads and streets of the State.
He said the decisions were in line with Governor Willie Obiano administration’s resolve to ensure the free flow of traffic across the State, noting that their activities were contributing to traffic congestion on Anambra roads and streets.
The Commissioner who is the immediate past Managing Director of Awka Capital Territory Development Board ACTDA, explain that Road and streets of urban cities of Anambra state are plagued by projections of unauthorized structures, displaying of goods for sale or trade on road surfaces, on top of drainages and inside expressed utility setbacks and pedestrian right-of-way.
He said these acts attract dumping of wastes in drainages and cause congestion of the roads and streets thereby posing danger to the society.
He said the proposed sustainable solution to ensure clean and healthy Anambra state, include: collaboration with Local Government, Trade Unions and security services to ensure success, sensitization of the general public of the provisions of the Anambra state street trading Restricting Law 2004, No: ANHA/Law/2004/08 and the state’s resolve to enforce the said law, establishment of a Task Force to apprehend and arrest defaulters of the state street trading restricting Law 2004 order, formation of mobile court for persecution of the defaulters and a find of ten thousand naira and two weeks imprisonment per offense.
Okonkwo said, “Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, let me use this medium to reiterate that street traders have been asked to stay off our roads permanently.
Speaking on the demolition of some structures in Onitsha market, the Commissioner noted that Obiano administration at inception, identified the axis as one of the major traffic flashpoints that required urgent attention, adding that the decision was informed by the strategic importance of this axis being a major gateway into the Light of the Nation.
“What we set out to achieve with this project was to ensure smooth flow of traffic along the express, safeguard the lives of our people who had to run across the express and project the image of a truly second global city to our visitors. Today, we are delighted that we have not only succeeded in transforming the landscape of this axis but with the slip road and pedestrian bridge, we have given a new and pleasant experience to all entering and exiting our State.
Besides, the commissioner assured that the traffic interventions would not only stop at the Onitsha axis but would be an ongoing process to create solutions to traffic congestion in every part of the State.
While alluding to the fact that the State has lived up to its reputation as a land of prosperity, Arch. Okonkwo then expressed confidence that the future prospects of the State were promising and that the journey of the next fifty years has commenced on a very sound and solid footing.