Lagos - After almost seven years of reconstruction and legal tussles among financiers, business activities have finally taken off at Tejuosho International Market.
Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, has launched the first phase of the market, said to be West Africa's largest shopping complex
The former Tejuosho Market, one of the major trading and commercial centres in the State, was gutted by fire in December 2007, and was later shut down on expert advice by the State Government, which decided to rebuild it in phases into a major shopping complex.
The gigantic complex, built by Stromberg Construction Company in partnership with First Bank Plc, consists of 2 640 locked-up shops and 1 251 key-clamps.
Other facilities in the market include banking spaces, eight lifts to enable goods, services and people move up, two escalators for up and down movement of people, two ramps designed to assist physically handicapped people to get into and out of the building and a crèche where nursing mothers can attend to and keep their children while they are trading.
The shopping complex also has a dedicated 800-vehicle capacity car-park.
All shops in the complex has been fully subscribed.
The shopping complex project, which was initially due to be commission two years ago, was stalled by law suit filed by several stakeholders and banks claiming bias in the ownership structure of the market.
Some of the matters are still pending in court despite the formal opening of the court.
That notwithstanding, some shop owners are already moving their wares and goods into shops as business activities begins to gradually return to the gigantic edifice.
In his remarks at the market opening ceremony, Fashola said the complex was part of the state government's long-term radical infrastructure renewal plan.
“It is driven by far-sighted vision and pursued by thoroughly committed public servants that will ensure that it is delivered whether I am here or not” he added.
Fashola explained that the shops are offered to prospective traders on Owner-Occupier basis whereby the owner-occupiers would pay for their shops gradually and overtime adding that it would take them eight years of mortgage payment to fully pay for their shops.
He pointed out that the shops were of high quality.
“What is good costs money. What we have decided to do is to make it easier and convenient for you to pay for it gradually so that you can do your business and put your profit back to own what you have”, the governor said adding that without the provision of the complex, the traders would have resorted to all sorts of make-shift shops which would have ended up in a disorganized market.
He expressed appreciation to First Bank Plc.
Managing Director of First Bank Plc, Olabisi Onasanya, described the project as a veritable example of how a private public partnership could be deployed.
"The opening ceremony signified the beginning of a new dawn in commercial activities in the State and in the country," Onasanya said.
- CAJ News
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