A religious twist has been introduced into the project to rebuild the main market of Jos which was ravaged by fire in 2002.
Leaders of the parent bodies of two faith groups met Governor Simeon Lalong on Saturday in Jos and expressed differing views on the government’s plan.
One group kicked against plans to fund themselves with a bank identified with the rival group.
The other group, however, argued that what was paramount was that the state assist in development, regardless of the source of funds.
After the groups recounted their positions, Governor Lalong expressed concern that politicians were using the proposed market for propaganda purposes, saying the market had been sold to the bank in question.
He explained that the funding arrangement 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% of the stores would be administered by the bank and the contractor for 40 years.
The remaining 40% would be administered by the state government for the same duration.
The Governor further explained that the 40-year term was for a sublease allowing buyers to recover their funds, adding that at the end of the term, the stores would revert to the Jos Main Market Authority.
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Mr. Lalong asked the presidents of the local administrations of Jos to organize sensitization meetings in their areas to ensure understanding of the conditions of financing and sharing of the project.
He urged Plateau residents not to resist development and scare off potential investors from establishing businesses in the state.
The Plateau Executive Council had previously approved the rebuilding of the market at a cost of N9 billion.
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