Asaba Mechanic Village Comes Alive As Automobile Technicians Reach Agreement With Govt.

Mrs. Mrakpor (m) and members of the Union

By Fortune Ngozi Onwordi

The ultra modern Mechanic Village in Asaba, Delta State, is set to come alive as automobile technicians have agreed to move to the facility. This followed a meeting between the leaders of mechanics' union held with the Director General of Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency (DSCTDA), Hon. Mrs. Joan Onyemaechi Mrakpor, and the Commissioner For Transport, Hon Oviemuno Oghoore, in Asaba.

The Automobile operators had in attendance, the chairman of Auto Parts Dealers in Delta State, Mr. Boniface Ezeigwe, president, Delta State Artisans, Mr. Ifeanyi Abanum, and the state chairman, Delta State Automobile Technicians Association. Also at the meeting were the chairman, Michelin Nig. Ltd, Mr. Anayo Ezebuilo and automobile mechanics and auto parts dealers numbering up to 126.
Mrs. Mrakpor addressing the Union members

Oghoore was represented by the Director Of Mechanical Engineering Services in the Ministry of Transport, Mr. Ojimma Hycenth.

The interactive meeting which held at the David's Event Centre, Asaba, afforded the Agency the opportunity to listen to and examine the challenges facing the operators and chart the way forward.

The outcome of the meeting was an agreement to relocate all automobile spare parts dealers, mechanics and technicians whose shops dot all major roads and streets of Asaba metropolis, especially Maami Market and Dennis Osadebey Way.

The Automobile Parts Dealers Association, the mechanics and technicians were then instructed to form a more inclusive, functional, proactive and dedicated leadership team to help organise the relocation to the new site and oversee the organisation of the market.

Speaking during the meeting, Mrs. Mrakpor, sensing a communications gap between the leaders and the union admonished them to form a more inclusive union.

"I invited everyone of you here so that I can hear directly from you. I have observed that part of the problems we are facing is a communications gap between you and your leadership. I want you people to form a more inclusive, functional, proactive and dedicated leadership that will pass vital information to you," she said.

"The state government has completed a mechanic village which has in its design up to 900 shops, car wash, workshops, a bank, police station and other facilities.
"The government has also subsidised the instalmental payment for the shops and ensured a spread in its duration."

She decried the effect of the activities of mechanics on the newly constructed roads, especially the sad situation at Jareth Road, behind Maami Market where the automobile mechanics have turned to a workshop.

"It is sad that people who live in Jareth Road cannot access their homes because mechanics have taken over the road. The landlords have been writing to my office to come to their rescue.

"When you open the bonnet to repair a vehicle in front of someone's home, you bring strangers to his/her house, posing security threat. This must stop. We have held series of meetings with you, all to no avail," Mrakpor warned.

"We cannot have mechanics all over the streets, pouring engine oil on the road which destroys the asphalt. We have set up a place for you."

Also speaking, Mr. Hycenth, explained that previous efforts by the Ministry of Transport to hold a meeting with the leaders of the automobile mechanics and dealers proved abortive. He also stated that government has subsidised the payment and negotiated a spread in the duration.

The leaders of the automobile operators were asked to meet with the Ministry of Transport and the developers, Rehomes Property Development Limited, to discuss modalities for allocating the shops to persons who are genuine owners of such business, to the Asaba mechanic village.

The DG also exempted those who carry out such businesses in their personal property from the relocation in the short term, provided the land is fenced and environment is kept tidy.
Owners of private premises are allowed to operate within town, as long as the premises are fenced to secure their enclosure from public view.
Shop owners at the popular Maami Market were told to shun repairing vehicles in the area or risk having their shops closed down.

In his response, Mr. Abanum thanked  the governor of the state, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, for finally coming to their rescue by building a world class market for mechanics and auto parts dealers in the state, but pleaded for time to enable them relocate fully.

"We have been pleading with the state government to assist us by building a place for us and His Excellency, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa has done it for us. We are only pleading that the empty land close to the market should be released to us, so that all our members can be accommodated," Abanum said.

In his vote of thanks on behalf of the mechanics and auto parts dealers, Mr. Obilo was full of thanks to the state government and commended the initiative to establish the mechanic village.

The formal commissioning of the facility is expected to hold soon as up to 90 percent of the market has been completed.

Other people in attendance at the interactive meeting were Ogbueshi Adizue Eluaka, First Member of the Agency's Governing Board, some staff of the Agency; as well as members of the Auto Dealers Association, Asaba Branch.

The  multi-billion naira Asaba Mechanic Village is part of the efforts of Gov. Okowa to sanitise Asaba and her environs to attract investors.

The Asaba Mechanic village has 900 shops, workshops, car wash, police station, bank, and other facilities.
The project when fully completed will be a one-stop shop for the purchase of auto parts, repair of automobiles and generally cater to all categories of mechanics and ancillary businesses.
The ultra-modern Asaba Mechanic village project is a public-private partnership between the Delta State Government and Rehomes Property Development Limited.

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