After 11 years, the dream of several stakeholders for a new modern Alade market may come true soon, if the assuring words of the council, concessioner and developer of the project are anything to go by.

Thus, to replace the now decrepit but nonetheless popular Lagos Market situated just next to the all important Allen Junction, a notable business hub of the metropolis, will be a new Alade Market whose developer reveals would stand magnificently on four floors and upon 1.5 hectares of land.

The project conceived by Ikeja Local Government will have a giant aquarium, high – tech games that promises lots of fun and adventure for children, a crèche, a mini clinic for health and safety purposes are some of the unique features being planned for the new market whose estimated cost of construction way back in 2010 stood at a an eye-popping N6.9billion.

The firm of Master’s Reality International Concepts Limited which in 2010 won the contract to develop the modern Mall at the location through an open bidding process, is pulling down all the old shops to realize the project for which it signed agreement with the council to manage for an undisclosed number of years and thereafter transfer ownership to the government.

The market, which has been designed to accommodate 530 cars, will equally offer business spaces/ shops in sizes ranging from 11 square meters for the smallest to 500 square meters for the largest to accommodate different sizes of business operations. With the 500square meters size shops, the developer, hopes to attract some ‘anchor tenants,’ as according to Lai Omotola, you cannot have a project this size without having anchor tenants on it.

He said that the planned relocation of the present occupants of old Alade Market is expected to commence at the end of February with a one month time frame that will bring it to conclusion by the end of March. He assured that his company, Master’s Reality International Concepts Limited would, without further, ado move to site and commence work.

On completion, the firm plans to shop for facility managers for the Mall through an open bidding process to select a reputable firm of facilities managers. According to him, this is because the firm understands that maintenance is key, so we need someone with experience who can actually deliver. Because by the time we are transferring back to government, we want it to be in good condition.

The project has been stalled for the past 11 years according to Executive Secretary, Ikeja Local Government, L.A. Dally – Adeokun, by the vehement resistance to the present Alade Market traders for reasons, which he termed as selfish. According to him, the government, through successive regimes has left no stones unturned in carrying the women along including meeting all their demands and giving them privileged concessions.

“ We have never failed to listen to them and in any case, their relocation is supposed to be temporary as the original shop owners whose records are with us still reserve the right to buy back their shops from us for which we have accepted to reserve ground floor spaces for them. We have also given them the new location at a reduced price of N150, 000 per annum with the option of buying it out rightly if they so choose. In fact, the entire phase one of the project is exclusively reserved for them, while the general public is being offered spaces only on the phase two which is further beyond the canal,” he explained.

Dally – Adeokun has words of commendation for the local council in its approach to handling the situation, which he describes as humane and civil because it has consistently shunned any option of brute force.

“By the time we are through with the relocation of the market, it will go down in history as the first time in this state that a market will be relocated without unexplainable fire outbreak or forceful eviction via unannounced demolition”

Although majority of the market women, including their leaders have purportedly been known to have taken up spaces in the new temporary market, according to Dally – Adeokun, up to 200 of them, a cross section of the market women who refused to give their names have continued to denounce the planned relocation calling it a callous attempt to deprive them of their sources of livelihood.

  • The Guardian