Thursday, 15 October 2015

Touts take over Itam Market …illegal fees collectors on the prowl

The Chairman of  Etaha Itam main  Market, Comrade Ukpono  Nta has called on the State Government and Itu Local Government to come to the aid of traders doing business in and around the market in order to save them from the activities of touts who go about collecting illegal fees from the traders and improve the revenue base of the government from the market. 

Comrade Ukpono Nta made this passionate appeal while interacting with our reporter recently in the area. According to him, activities of illegal tolls collection by some disgruntled elements in and around the market environment has reached an alarming stage, therefore there is urgent need for government intervention.
Speaking further, Nta said since assumption of office as the Chairman of Etaha Itam market on August 2015, there has been relative calm and less tension between the tolls collectors and the traders, as the traders no more pay one thousand naira as tools per day, but the prescribed seven hundred naira.

Also as way to put a stop to this unauthorized increase, Comrade Nta said he contacted the Transition Chairman of Itu, Hon. Okon Etim Okon to intervene but was surprised when he directed him to concentrate with the activities inside the market while one Ubong Morgan should take over activities outside the market and along the road, a situation that has been the source of constant friction between the two factions and the cause of illegal toll collection from innocent traders.

Comrade Nta said such misunderstanding led to the recent fracas between Mr. Ubong Morgan’s Taskforce team and that of the market committee led by him. But for Mr. Nta’s prompt intervention and with the assistance of the men of the Nigeria Police Force and Civil Defence, the situation would have escalated beyond manageable proportion. He further explained that he had banned the sale of any other sticker except the one printed and approved by the Council to forestall illegalities.

While making effort to ensure that peace and normalcy return to the market, he emphasized that he had put passionate calls across to the Commissioner of Finance, Mr. Akan Okon, the member representing Itu State Constituency, Hon. Idongesit Ituen as well as Hon. Henry Archibong, the member representing Itu\Ibiono Ibom Federal Constituency to wade into the market issue as a way of finding a lasting solution to the lingering crisis.

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