The Rivers House of Assembly has pushed forward a bill banning street trading, illegal motor parks and unapproved markets/stalls in its determination to ensure beauty in major economic cities in state.
The Speaker of the House, Ikunyi Awaji-Ibani and lawmaker representing Andoni Constituency, during plenary on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, said that the bill would continue to attract support from members as it tended to remind them of the once lovely aesthetic features which the state was known for.
“In our debates, we clearly saw that the merits of this bill were quite enormous, in as much as the greater population of Nigerians make ends meet through small scale businesses, the government would not fold its arms and watch the beauty of a planned city get eroded as a result of ungirded small business activities.
“Ecstatic beauty is one thing that must be appreciated by all, most times, when you drive around the city of Port Harcourt, without a strong insight, you may not even acknowledge the value that this government has so far added.
“This is so because, virtually every street/roads in Port Harcourt, Oyigbo, Eleme and Obio/Akpor areas are all littered with mechanic garages, small markets and make shift stalls such that government’s developmental infrastructure becomes less appreciated since the city frame had been negatively altered.
“All legitimate businesses in the state must operate by the rules,” Ibani said.
Earlier in their contributions, all 24 members present at plenary debated in support of the passage of the bill, tagged “Rivers State Streets Trading, Illegal Markets and Motor Parks Prohibition Bill 2019”.
Mr Martin Ameahule, lawmaker representing Obio/Akpor Constituency 1, and also the House Majority Leader, in his contribution said, “The bill has good intentions that covers every sphere of illegal trading mechanisms”.
He said that the bill also had penalties attached to it, adding that such penalties would help to curb irregularities in the environment.
“This bill is not targeted at the poor or any particular group but rather a bill whose target are the general public, residents and indigenes of the state as it is geared toward enhancing beauty and comfort in the state.”
Ameahule who led the debate said that when passed into law, the bill would help curb accidents on the streets, ease traffic flow and return the state to its garden city status.
The Chief Whip of the House, Mr Evans Bipi (Ogu/bolo) and Mr Anselem Ogugwo, (Ikwerre) Constituencies and others debated in support of the bill.
The House, having taken into consideration debates by members, resolved to commit the bill to the committee for public hearing. (NAN).