An appeal has gone to the Oyo State Government to resuscitate the abandoned Aso Ofi International Tourism Market at Iseyin.
The Association of Aso Ofi Marketers made the call in a statement signed by its President, Alhaji Imuran Alarape Kangunhan; Chairman, Alhaji Taiwo Ariwoola; the Youth Chairman, Alhaji Sulaimon Onimama; and Youth Secretary, Mr Wahab Gafar Pakoto.
In the statement, the Aso Ofi Marketers bemoaned several Aso Ofi weavers who obtained loans with the hope that the market construction was set to commence were battling hard to pay back the loans.
With the continued abandonment of the market, the marketers bemoaned that they continued to bear huge costs of transporting their wares to Ibadan and Ede markets.
They noted that the building of the market will have multiplier economic effects not just on the people of Iseyin and Oke-Ogun zone but also on the state at large.
The group consequently urged the Engineer Seyi Makinde administration to prioritise the construction of the market for the state to fully tap its potentials in production of Aso Ofi as well as enhance its socio-economic development.
The market had been proposed to contain 500 weaving sheds/workshops, 500 exhibition shops, a warehouse, indigenous textile museum in Nigeria, a fire station, a clinic and a police station.
“We have lost over N2billion to the abandonment since the day the market was inaugurated by the last administration.
“Some of our people went to take bank loans to boost production and employed more weavers, but we never knew that the former governor took us for a ride.
“We are appealing to our amiable governor to please come to our aid and start work on the project so that the potentials of the market could be realized in the areas of economic and social growth for the people of Iseyin and Oke-Ogun in general,” the statement read.
It will be recalled that late governor Abiola Ajimobi had in September 2017 laid foundation for the 13.5 hectares market with construction works failing to commence till the expiration of the past administration.