The Plateau State Executive Council has approved the reconstruction of the Jos Main Market burnt down many years ago.
The decision was reached by the Council at its weekly meeting presided over virtually by Governor Simon Lalong who is currently in Dubai, United Arab Emirates alongside other Governors to participate in the 11th Annual Investment Summit.
A statement by the Director of Press and Public Affairs to the Governor of Plateau State, Dr. Makut asimon Macham said the approval was sequel to a memo submitted by Hon. Idris Gambo, the Commissioner for Urban Development who is supervising Ministry of Commerce and Industry to the Council with the proposal for a Public Private Partnership Joint Venture to be funded by Jaiz Bank Nigeria Plc.
Briefing newsmen after the Council meeting, Commissioner for Information and Communication Hon. Dan Manjang said the reconstruction of the Jos Main Market has been one of the priorities of the Lalong Rescue Administration which despite several attempts delayed because of conditions given by various prospective investors.
Manjang explained that the determination and resilience of Governor Simon Lalong to fulfill his campaign promise to the people by ensuring that the market is reconstructed has finally paid off with the agreement by Jaiz Bank Plc. to partner with the Plateau State Government in funding the project.
He said the project expected to be completed within the lifetime of this administration, is one of the many legacies the Governor wants to leave behind for the economic prosperity of the State.
Giving details of the PPP Joint Venture, Supervising Commissioner for Commerce and Industry Hon. Idris Gambo said the entire project will be funded by the bank with a total of 4,231 shops of different sizes expected to be constructed on 44 percent of the land totaling 7.4 hectres. He said the rest of the land space will provide for parking, banks, fire station, police station, administrative blocks and other facilities.
The Commissioner disclosed that the market wholly belongs to Plateau State Government and will be managed by the Jos Main Market Authority while the Investor will recover part of their investment from proceeds of the sale of the shops.
Gambo also said the Exco resolved that those who were displaced from the burnt market will be given the first option of acquiring the new shops which will be provided under a flexible payment plan to ensure that genuine traders and people of Plateau State are not left out.
It was also agreed that work on the adjourning roads from the Gangare axis will be intensified with a possibility for dualization to ensure that traffic congestion does not prevail when business activities resume in the market.
The estimated total cost for construction of the three phases of the market is 9.4 billion naira.