The Commissioner for Trade, Commerce, Markets and Wealth Creation in Anambra State, Dr Christian Madubuko, has raised the alarm that his life is under threat by some unscrupulous businessmen in the state.
Speaking yesterday at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Awka Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (AWKACCIMA) the commissioner stated that his efforts to purge markets of corruption and enthrone sanity in the entire business environment in the state, has attracted hate from those who are benefiting from the corrupt way things are going in the bus sector in the state.
Dr Madubuko, who was invited home few months ago from Australia by the state governor, Chief Willie Obiano and appointed commissioner in charge of the Trade, Commerce, Markets and Wealth Creation Ministry, revealed that he had been approached by some businessmen in some markets in the state, who visited him in the office, offering him millions of Naira, ranging from N5million, N10 million and some N15million and N20million, telling him that they have just come to clean his official chair for him with the monetary gratification, saying that he was shocked by such gratification.
He stated that in each occasion, he turned down the gratification because he new that it was being used as a snare to enslave him so that he would allow them to be perpetuating corruption in the markets, and advised anyone who wants to approach him with such offers to steer clear, otherwise, he would not only expose such characters but would hand them over to the law enforcement agencies for prosecution.
“Because of my frequent visits to the markets where I go to conduct inspections, some people have been calling me and warning me that I’m disturbing their businesses, that I should know that I am not the only person who has been a commissioner of Commerce in this state. In fact, I must confess that an Igbo man is industrious, but, some of them are greedy,” he stated.
In response to complaints by a member of the chamber concerning the operations of some illegal revenue collectors who barricade the road at some strategic locations in the state, especially in the state’s commercial nerve centre, Onitsha, where they extort various sums of money from traders who are transporting their goods to their various locations after purchasing them, the Commission condemned the act, stating that two of such extortionists are currently undergoing interrogation by men of the state Department of State Security ( DSS) because he intercepted them somewhere at Umuanya, Oyi local government area of the state, where they mounted road block and were extorting money from commuters.
The Commerce Commissioner stated, “I was coming back from Onitsha, after I went on inspection of the market, and when I arrived at that place in Umunya junction, I saw a very long queue of vehicles. When I came down from my car, I noticed that there were some boys who barricaded the road, and, were collecting money before allowing any motorist to cross. I asked them how much they would collect so that they could open the road for those on the queue to pass, they said N400. I gave them N400 and they opened the road for us to pass. After l passed, I put a call to the DSS and they went and aerated them. So, they are now undergoing integration with the security operatives there”.
He, however, appealed to the leadership and members of AWKACCIMA to lure their co-industrialists and other investors to come into the state assuring that the state government was ready to assist them grow their industries, stating that it was only through the active role of the private sector that the state can experience industrial growth, citing that the government had already laid the foundation with the adequate security currently provided in the state.
He assured that the state government would soon release funds for commencement of the chambers’ permanent state headquarters at Enugwu-Agidi area of Awka, the state capital, and, that the government would further support and partner the chamber in any other way necessary to ensure that the members’ businesses were not hampered.
Earlier in their separate speeches, the president of AWKACCIMA, Mr Felt- Zontal Akosa, and chairman of the occasion, Mr Chika Ekwueme, commended the state government for the peaceful security atmosphere prevailing in the state and urged the government to assist the chamber in the building of its permanent secretariat, and also for the government to ensure that the Agu- Awka industrial layout has infrastructural facilities that would enable those who have acquired lands in the area commence their industrial concerns.
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