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Traders panic as construction of multi-billion Nebbi market nears

As the start date for construction of a multi-billion modern market in Nebbi municipality nears, traders in Nebbi main market have voiced concern about the effect this planned development will have on their businesses.

Nebbi Municipality is one of eighteen (18) municipalities countrywide slated to benefit from a multi-billion modern market constructed by the government under the Market Agriculture Trade Improvement Programme- Project 2. (MATIP-2).

The project is geared at improving local revenues in the municipality and decongest the market which accommodates over 7,000 traders.

According to Municipal Mayor, Geoffrey Ngiriker, traders now operating the Nebbi main market will be temporarily relocated to the taxi and bus terminals which are being fitted for this purpose in order to pave way for the construction of the modern market at the site of the existing main market.

Anxious traders

However, some of the traders are anxious about the impact the proposed move will have on their incomes.

One of the traders, Warom Aldo, says whereas construction of the modern market is welcome, he foresees challenges related to relocating the traders to a new place of business while works at the new market progress.

“We are going to lose business because most of our customers will be unable to locate us in the new location where we shall have moved to,” Warom said.

Another trader, Charles, is afraid that their customers will opt to shop from local markets created in the divisions, and this will affect sales.

“Moreover, most traders rely on loans to sustain their business. If customers reduce for the five solid years construction is going to take, it will be hard for them (traders) to pay back their loans,” he argued.

Mayor optimistic

However, Mayor Ngiriker reassured the traders that the new areas they will be temporarily relocated to will be designed to aid the flourishing of their businesses.

He is also optimistic that any losses that might be occasioned by the new market will be temporary and more than recouped in the hoped-for prosperity the development will bring once the project is complete.

“Currently, Nebbi’s main market generates over Shs 12m monthly and accommodates over 7000 traders. But, in the long run, after the construction is fully completed, the revenue will push up because definitely, the population shoots up,” he said.

Ngiriker says that whereas Nebbi Town Council was elevated to Municipality status in 2016, it still lacks basic revenue sources which make it hard for them to run routine social services such as garbage collection.

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