UK to rebuild Mile 12 market

The popular Mile 12 market in Lagos may soon witness a huge turnaround in its fortunes, with the show of intention by the United Kingdom (UK) to support the Lagos State government in its quest to develop the market to international standard.The development, the Permanent Under-Secretary of the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), James Wharton, said is in line with UK’s Department for International Development (DFID)’s aids programmes for Nigeria, during a recent official visit to the market.

Wharton’s trip was to assess the extent of works to be carried out at the market in line with the Lagos State government’s plans to restructure the market.

The United Kingdom spends about £500 million in aids for Nigeria annually through DFID aids progrommes. The visit, according to Wharton, was also to look out for areas of possible investment in the market.

Wharton, who was received at the market by the Chairman, Mile 12 Market Management Committee and Chairman Perishable Food Stuff Market Association, Haruna Muhammed and other executive members, noted that the market offered lots of investment potential, but added that a lot more work needed to be done to ensure it delivered what the people expected from it.

He added that the UK government would play significant role to support the market men and women to add value to their produce.

While addressing Wharton and his team, Muhammed said the investment opportunity by UK would bring a lot of relief to the market, adding that the market had never benefited from government assistance since its existence.

“Over 40 years of its existence, there had never been any government’s assistance, we need assistance from both government and the World Bank,” Muhammed said.

The association’s Financial Secretary, Alhaji Shehu Usman, said the visit by the UK team came at a most appropriate time, adding that the confidence of the traders for a better future for the market has been rekindled.

Shehu, who was one the traders who benefited from training tour to South Africa, hailed the Lagos State government for its ‘robust and mature’ handling of the development of the market.

According to him, the South African training trip, organised by the GEMS Ford foundation, was an eye opener for the participants.

“All of us who participated in the training came back to Nigeria with a better understanding of how market issues and trading are handled,” he said.

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