Traders at the Bauchi Central Market are worried over an order by the Bauchi State Road Transport Agency (BAROTA) that bans the day-time offloading of goods in the market.
The ban, authorities say, followed challenges of congestion in the market due to haulage trailers offloading commodities during market hours.
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However, some of the affected traders expressed fears that their goods will not be safe if they are offloaded at night, and that it could put their businesses at risk. Abdulrashid Mai Dalan Zaranda, an ex-auditor of the market association said the market opens at 8am and closes by 6pm, adding that it is inconvenient for them to offload their goods at night.
Alhaji Khalid Yusuf, another trader said, “If we offload our commodities at night, they will be dumped outside the market as it closes at 6pm. So, we are afraid that the commodities can be stolen. If we don’t want it to be stolen, then we must engage the services of guards that will be looking after them. This will be a burden to us.”
Malam Ibrahim Arab’s fear is when the rains come. “During the rainy season, our commodities would be drenched. In fact, this order is unfavourable to us and we want the government to reconsider it.”
The traders appealed to the state government to decongest the market by providing a befitting parking space. They also called on the agency to allow them to offload their commodities between 6am and 12noon.
When contacted, Chairman of BAROTA, Air Commodore Tijjani Gamawa (rtd) said the order came as a result of traffic congestion caused by vehicles in the market.
He also said the agency and the state government consulted with the leadership of the market and the executives of the Bauchi state market traders and artisans association who unanimously endorsed the ban.
Gamawa said the agency has prohibited commercial drivers using the market as a park to pick and drop passengers. He said the move is to prevent accidents and insecurity.