The new management committee inaugurated about two weeks ago to reposition the Ikorodu Plaza, on Tuesday (yesterday), met with the occupants in a fact-finding mission.
The management, led by Prince Jamiu, met with some of the occupants of the over 100 shops within the plaza. THE IMPACT gathered that less than 20 shops open on a daily basis.
Also at the meeting was Arch. Taiwo Kara, the representative of the outgone managers of the plaza.
The meeting was held on the ground floor of the Plaza located at Ita – Elewa, Ikorodu.
At the meeting, occupants of the plaza unanimously elected Retired Magistrate (Alhaja) Sekinot Dosunmu Solebo, as their representative on the management board.
She will be joining the representative of the First Bank, a major occupant of the plaza, on the board.
At the meeting, Prince Saka explained the mission of the new management team which, according to him, is to reposition the Plaza and make it viable and sustainable.
He notified the occupants that the new board has effectively taken over from the Arch. Taiwo Kara and associate, the firm which has been overseeing the management of the plaza in the last ten years.
After listening to all complaints and suggestions by the occupants, Chairman of the management team promised them that they will all be looked into.
Meanwhile, in an interview with Prince Saka after the meeting, he described the interaction with the occupants as productive.
“The meeting went well. We were able to get one of the occupants appointed as their representative (on the newly Ikorodu Plaza management committee). She is no other person than, Alhaja Sekinot Dosunmu Solebo. They all unanimously elected her as their statutory member of the committee.
“Basically, it was a beautiful outing and we were able to hear from them regarding the foundational challenges and some of their concerns as to what they would like to see to make the plaza sustainable” he said.
He admitted that the number of shops locked up without occupants are not healthy for business and human traffic into the plaza and stated that the management will look into how to resolve the issue.
“We have been able to gather some of the issues and challenges. The major part of it is that traders establish their business simply for profit and a situation where they open shops everyday and unable to get customers as a result of a failing environment is not encouraging enough. These are issues that the management committee needs to deal with and we are going to face that squarely.
“The number of vacancies there is not conducive for a viable trading environment and a situation whereby less than 40 percent are occupying the plaza and 20 percent of this are using it as a warehouse, does not help the human traffic movement”.
Prince Saka said that the board will have a better insight into the state of the plaza when the outgone manager formally handed over to the new management.
Speaking at the meeting, Magistrate Solebo called for ways to ensure that the environment is clean and charged occupants to cooperate with the new management in its efforts to breathe new life into the plaza.
Mr Joel Ajetunmobi, one of the occupants and a tailor, also speaking at the meeting, stated that the new management should find means of inviting all the owners of the locked shops within the plaza for a meeting and ensure that they are made to open them.
He suggested that families of occupants that have been deceased should be invited and given time to decide on what they want to do with the shops, failure of which the council should take over such shops and re – allocate them to those in need.
He also appealed to the management team to engage shop owners on reducing their rent/lease so as to encourage more people to take-up shops within the plaza and also encourage traffic.
Speaking with THE IMPACT after the meeting, Mr Ajetunmobi commended the approach of the new management on interacting with the occupants instead of issuing commands to them.
He stated that there is need for security within the complex, stating that the entire complex cannot rely on the security being provided by the First Bank PLC.
He added that the occupants should have more than one representative to prevent being bought over.
Also at the meeting, one of the occupants complained that her shop has been taken over by another occupant, a matter the management pledged to look into and resolve amicably.