OWNERS of shops at Scout camp market, Ibadan, face revocation of ownership of their shops as the ultimatum given by the Oyo state government for the payment of a total sum of N62,000 as annual rent expires on Tuesday.
The Oyo state government had asked the owners of 380 lock up shops and 900 open stalls to each pay a total sum of N62,000 annually, covering N50,000 as rent and N12,000 as service charge.
The message by the state government to the traders read, “Kindly pay the Rent and Service Charge for your lock-up shop at Scout Camp Business Complex on or before 5th December, 2017 or face revocation of offer.”
However, the affected traders had on several occasions protested and requested the state government to reduce the sum to N36,000 covering N24,000 as rent and N12,000 as service charge.
Nigerian Tribune reported that the traders had last week, in a meeting with government officials which included Executive Assistant to Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Political Matters, Dr Morounkola Thomas and Special Adviser to Ajimobi on Community Relations, Mr Murisiku Siyanbade and Permanent Secretary, alluded to poor market sales as reasons for their call for reduction in the rent.
Chairman of the traders’ association, Mr Kehinde Tewogbade and Secretary, Mr Olayiwola Shuaib, in their separate comments, argued that they were not in an advantaged location for sales as well as the fact that there were a lot of street trading from Molete to Orita restricting buyers from coming into the market.
Though the traders acknowledged the government’s drive to increase its Internally Generated Revenue, the traders’ heads had appealed to the state government to be allowed to remain in their stalls pending a downward review of the rent.
Responding to the traders’ appeal, Dr Morounkola Thomas said the state government had considered appeals and several factors before it pegged the rent at N50,000.
To allay the fears of the traders of inadequate patronage, Thomas assured that the state government would soon chase away all street traders on the Molete to Orita, and enforce that traders use the Scout Camp market.
Morounkola said the state government had to end the years of allowing the traders use the market stalls for free, if it was to boost its Internally Generated Revenue.
He pointed out that it would be difficult for the state government to further reduce the rent as advocated by the traders.
Ibadan market traders face revocation over N62,000 rent