Parika market will be extended to curb illegal vending – President Ali

His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali on Sunday, announced plans to upgrade and expand the Parika market, Region Three in order to address the issue of illegal vending and overcrowding of the Parika Stelling.

The decision stemmed from an interaction President Ali had with vendors who complained about the conditions of the market and the negative effects illegal vending has on their businesses.

His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Ali and Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d), Mark Phillips interacting with a vendor at the Parika Market.

The president, with several members of his cabinet, including, Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d), Mark Phillips and Senior Minister within the Office of the President with responsibility for finance, Dr. Ashni Singh, conducted a walkabout in the market as part of his outreach to the community.

Discussions have already been initiated with persons who manage two ballfields close to the market. The president said the government will upgrade one for the residents’ use and utilise the other facility to extend the market tarmac and construct a walkway canopy as was requested by vendors.

President Ali said the government will work along with the market’s committee to move the process forward, and ensure vendors along the roadside are relocated within the legal boundaries of the market.

His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Ali and Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d), Mark Phillips interacting with a vendor at the Parika Market.

To this end, he said Minister of Tourism Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond, M.P, and Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar, M.P who were also at the outreach exercise, will commence consultations with the relevant stakeholders on the issue.

The consultations will last for two weeks, after which President Ali said the government will look at sourcing additional resources to move forward.

“I hope before six months we can start something physically here because it is a major issue, and we can’t allow it to continue, and I am not prepared to allow it to continue,” the Head-of-State said.

He reiterated that the aim is to ensure an enabling environment is created for vendors to ply their trade, and patrons have a comfortable and safe space to conduct their business.

Persons vending outside of the market have indicated their willingness to move once the facilities are made available.

President Ali interacting with a vendor at the Parika Market

Currently, the market’s monthly revenue is about $1.1 million. This is used for wages and salaries for cleaners, security and the management of the market which is $800,000 per month, garbage collection, $200,000 per month, as well as electricity and water which is $58,000 and $44,000 per month respectively.

“So, the expenses are $25,000 more than what the market earns, that is the present situation with the market… it is obvious that they [the market committee] don’t have the capacity to invest in the infrastructure. This is a public service to the entire region and people from all over utilise the service and so, something needs to be done.”

The president highlighted another issue the committee is faced with, which is recovering some $10 million in outstanding debts owed to the market.

A similar outreach was held at the Leonora market on Saturday, where the president proposed the construction of a massive market tarmac and upgrade the road in order to address the issue of overcrowding at that market.