Mrs Blacky Omoregie, Chairperson, Edo Market Women Association, has appealed to traders in Uselu Market to be calm, promising to intervene in the exorbitant shop rents charged them.
Omoregie made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Sunday.
NAN recalls that the traders recently protested against the directive by the Egor Local Government Council to them to move into the lock-up shops after they had been renovated.
They complained that the council’s demand of N1.2 million as the price or N100,000 an annual rent for each shop was too high.
Omoregie said that the association would negotiate with the council before the renovation was completed to ensure that the amounts were reduced.
“The renovation of the shops is still ongoing and the aim is to stop the display of wares along roadsides.
“We are aware of the fixing of the shop rents by the council. We will negotiate with the council to reduce the rent and accept the payment in installments,” she said.
“Considering the present economic hardship, not every woman in this market will be able to afford a shop at the rates put forward by the council.
“Also, not all wares can be displayed inside the shops. For instance, those selling tomatoes cannot display them inside such shops.
“After the completion of the shops, we will have what is called ‘attachments’, to accommodate traders dealing on such commodities,” she said