It was a dream come true for the people of Ado Ekiti in particular and Ekiti State in general as the city’s Ultramodern Market was commissioned by Governor Kayode Fayemi amidst fanfare, on Thursday, 15 October, 2020.
The market known locally as “Oja Oba” or “Erekesan” was officially opened for public use by the Governor as part of activities marking the second anniversary of his administration.
The Governor said the imposing market complex which boasts of modern facilities would boost commerce and other economic activities in the state capital.
The atmosphere at the market inauguration ceremony was electrifying as appreciative indigenes sang the Governor’s praises hailing him for following the project to a logical conclusion.
On hand to witness the inauguration of the project are the Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi; First Lady, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe, Aladesanmi III; Chairman, Ado Ekiti Local Government, Mrs. Omotunde Fajuyi; members of the State Executive Council, political office holders, market men and women.
Activities at the market area and the adjoining Ewi’s Palace was at a standstill for about 45 minutes the event lasted as residents defied the sweltering heat of the day to witness the epoch-making event.
Dr. Fayemi whose first administration conceptualized the market in 2012, however, commended his immediate predecessor, Mr. Ayo Fayose for starting the project which was at 55 per cent completion level at the time the last administration left office, two years ago.
The Governor disclosed that he was determined to complete the project inherited from the immediate past administrations because of his resolve to give priority attention to abandoned projects, adding that his administration still retained the same contractor engaged by his predecessor.
Dr. Fayemi explained that the new market was purposely built to benefit the state describing it as “another eloquent testimony of impacting lives and building legacies for the benefit of the people.”
Some of the facilities in the market, according to the Governor, are 234 open shops, 738 lock up shops, two restaurants, two banking halls, two warehouses, a police post, a clinic and an expansive parking lot.
Describing the market as “befitting the state capital, the Governor said it would add to the aesthetics of the city and was part of the fulfilment of his administration’s Urban Renewal policy started during his first term in office.
Dr. Fayemi added that his administration has replicated similar market projects in every local government headquarter in the state to make commerce conducive for buyers and sellers and boost Internally Generated Revenue.
The Governor appealed to traders who still display their wares on the roadside to move into the new market to allow for free flow of traffic and for their personal safety.
He said further: “This project was conceived to make trading conducive, I expect our traders who display their wares on the road to move in to decongest our road.
“I enjoin market women to make use of this market and plans are afoot to engage professional facility managers to maintain this market.
Speaking earlier, Ewi, Oba Adejugbe, said the people of his kingdom would be grateful to Governor Fayemi for keeping his promise to complete the market in view of the inability of the last administration to complete it.
The monarch who went philosophical by saying “man proposes but God disposes” said it was by divine arrangement that made Governor Fayemi to complete a the market and hand it over for the use of Ekiti people and others from far and near who would benefit from the market.
Oba Adejugbe said: “I want to thank you (Governor Fayemi) specially for the pronouncement that there will no abandoned project in Ekiti State again.
“This is wonderful , no government can complete all projects whatever party that is in power because when projects are completed, Ekiti people will benefit from them so I want to appeal to our people to make good use of this market.”
The Iyaloja of Ado Ekiti who is also the President of Market Women Association, Chief Waye Oso, said Governor Fayemi had gladdened the heart of traders for giving them a befitting place to showcase their goods and transact business.
The Governor was later joined by the dignitaries to unveil the plaque and cut the tape to officially open the market for public use for the first time since the old structure was demolished over five years ago.
The governor, who also inaugurated two of the newly built Model colleges, said the schools were put in place to decongest public schools in the State capital and to open up new settlement in Ado to economic and Infrastructural development.
Dr Fayemi, explained that the model schools which were named after the illustrious sons of the State, Ayo Fasanmi, Prof ‘Banji Akintoye, Prof David Oke and Chief Deji Fasuan was part of the multifaceted efforts put in place to achieve a pupil friendly environment that would encourage enrolment of school age children in the State.
He mentioned that payment of all outstanding counterpart funds running into seven billion naira to Universal Basic Education Commission, (UBEC) from 2015 to 2019, provision of instructional materials to schools, payment of regular running grants to all public Primary and Secondary Schools in the State, massive reconstruction and rehabilitation of school infrastructure and construction of additional school buildings as well as the provision of conducive teaching and learning environment in schools were part of the steps taking to tackle challenges mitigating against child enrollment in the state.
Other efforts put in place according to him included; introduction of the School Feeding Programme in primary schools, regular capacity building programmes for teachers,
payment of teachers’ salaries as and when due and fostering greater synergy with development partners and the Universal Basic Education Commission, (UBEC) and the Federal Ministry of Education amongst others.
He said; “It gladdens my heart and I am fulfilled that in Ekiti State, our administration has never hidden its plans to make public Schools attractive. With this, we now have public schools that can compete favourably with the best in the Country, and indeed, our new Model Colleges are the ones to beat around here.
All these are in fulfilment of our promise to provide functional and qualitative education in Ekiti State.
The eldest son of the late Ayo Fasnami, Justice Obafemi Fasanmi, in an emotion laden speech thanked the Governor for naming the school after his late dad, saying that it was a great honour to the memory of his dad who died about four months ago.