Faith Groups Disagree Over Financing Of Jos Main Market Project

Governor Simeon Lalong

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Leaders of umbrella bodies of two faith groups met with Governor Simeon Lalong on Saturday in Jos and expressed divergent opinions about the government’s plan.

A religious twist has been introduced to the proposed rebuilding of the Jos Main Market gutted by fire in 2002.

Leaders of umbrella bodies of two faith groups met with Governor Simeon Lalong on Saturday in Jos and expressed divergent opinions about the government’s plan.

One group kicked against the plan to source finance from a bank identified with the rival group.

The other group, however, argued that what was paramount was for the state to witness development, notwithstanding the source of funds.

After the groups had narrated their positions, Governor Lalong expressed concern that politicians were using the market project for propaganda, claiming that the market had been sold to the bank in question.

He explained that the arrangement for financing was purely a business decision based on the Public-Private Partnership model.

The bank would finance the project for the contractor and at the end of construction, 60 per cent of the shops would be administered by the bank and the contractor for 40 years.

The other 40 per cent would be administered by the state government for the same duration.

The governor explained further that the 40-year period was for a sublease for buyers to recoup their funds, adding that at the end of the period the shops would revert to the Jos Main Market Authority.

Mr Lalong directed local government chairpersons in Jos to conduct sensitisation meetings in their areas to ensure understanding of the project’s terms of financing and sharing.

He urged Plateau people not to resist development and scare potential investors from establishing businesses in the state.

The Plateau Executive Council had earlier approved the reconstruction of the market at a cost of N9 billion.

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