Traders at the new Muhammadu Buhari International Market, Mararaba in Nasarawa state have commended the state government for allocating the shop spaces for free for three months.
A cross section of traders in the market who spoke on Sunday in Nasarawa said the gesture would improve their business capital.
The traders said that the shops were given to them for the period because they could not afford the rent.
Mrs Victoria Umeh, a trader, said that the market was not in use for a long time due to the high rent until the government came up with the free allocation.
“I was given the shop for a short time; the Governor, his Excellency Gov. Tanko Al-makura said we should enter for free and we are glad.
“Though they have not told us how much we are to pay after the free period of three months but earlier before he gave us for free, he called us and said that we should pay but we said we don’t have money.
“So he said we should enter free of charge for now for the period of three months.’’
Umeh however, appealed to the government to extend the grace period from three months to a year so they could save up enough money to be able to afford the rent.
She said that there was low patronage because people sell in front of the market restricting buyers from entering.
Umeh called on the government to put an embargo on those who sell by the roadside and those who hawk outside in order to compel buyers to enter the market to shop.
Ms Rosaline Musa, another trader, confirmed that the shop was given to her without a penny by the market leaders after filling a form that required her details.
Musa commended the government for the kind gesture, adding that this would help her to raise some money pending when payment would commence.
An official of the market, who spoke said that the prices of the shops were still under dispute at the state level.
He said that the final amount to be paid would be communicated to the traders before the free period expires.
He also noted that plans were ongoing to partner with security agencies to chase traders from the road side into the market.
“The Director is presently with the Governor of Nasarawa state discussing on how to chase traders from the road side, especially those without shops,’’ he said.