Bayelsa State Government has condemned the activities of individuals who have been collecting payments from traders in the Swali Ultra-Modern Market under the guise of government officials.
The Commissioner for Trade, Industry, and Investment, Hon. Otokito Federal Oparminola, in a statement on Friday, January 24, said the traders were making payments of five thousand naira to the unknown men.
He advised traders engaging in such activities to desist forthwith and trade in the shops allocated to them, as anyone found guilty of trespassing will be arrested.
He said,: “It has come to the notice of the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Investment that traders outside the Swali Ultra-Modern Market and it’s fenced areas have been paying the sum of Five Thousand Naira (N5,000) to unknown men disguised as officials from the Ministry for shop space within the fenced areas of the market.
“The Ministry by this notice warns traders to desist from such acts of illegal payments and trading within unauthorized areas in the market vicinities.
“Traders are hereby ordered to go and occupy their allocated shops in the market with immediate effect.
“Traders who fail to do so and are caught trading in the prohibited areas of the market will be arrested and prosecuted”.
Swali Ultra-Modern Market is one of the biggest markets in the state and recently received a face-lift from the state government with the demolition of some illegal structures located outside the market.
Security was also tightened within the area, which has reduced the hitherto criminal activities there.