The multi-million naira shopping plaza built in Ita-elewa area of Ikorodu was erected 10 years ago, but the building have been grossly underutilized and is crying for attention on daily basis. The mega-plaza which was commissioned during the Fashola administration in came as a welcoming idea to many indigenes who saw it as an innovative way to enhance development in Ikorodu community.
At the time, the old Ikorodu local government secretariat had been relocated to its current location along T.O.S. Benson Road, hence; the errection of the multimillion naira edifice under the chairmanship of late Engr. Dele Kuti. Indigenes believe the Ikorodu shopping complex will augment and be a companion to the elegant Ikorodu House in Victoria Island.
After the completion of the shopping complex by the common wealth of the six local government and council chairman, the management of the structure was handed over to a consultant and things were going on smoothly as there were stable supply of electricity and water while security around the premises was tight, until the shop owner started complaining of lack of sales and low patronage as a result refused to remit their rent to the management team and the local government authority decided to seal up the shops of defaulters.
The issue was later taking to the former Ayangbure of Ikorodu, Oba Salaudeen Oyefusi who sent a team, led by the current Ayangbure, Oba Kabiru Shotobi who was then the Odofin of Ikorodu. The report of the team over the maintenance of the place was superb and the management was commended in that regard.
The shop owners were also said to be owing the consultant of the plaza huge sum of money.
Oba Oyefusi later resolved the issue amicably and directed that traditional prayers should be offered on the premises of the complex to improve patronages.
Surprisingly, some of the tenants started moving out of the shopping complex till just an infinitesimal number of twenty occupants remain in a shopping complex which was designed to occupy one hundred and seventy eight shops. More than hundred and forty shops are left unoccupied for years and millions of naira are being lost yearly. Today the consultant in helms of the complex’s affairs are incurring heavy loss for leaving over a hundred and forty shops unoccupied.
The question on everyone’s lips is why can’t the government set up a board of trustee to overhaul the old policy/strategy to run the place? Since the contract agreement for managing the plaza with the consultant will be due May 2020, many are urging them to seize the opportunity to constitute a committee who should bring in astute managers to breathe life into the shopping complex.
Oriwu Sun got a scoop from reliable sources that an inquiry committee has been set up to review the activities of the Ikorodu Plaza to find out why the building has performed poorly and lost so much patronage.
A community dweller who spoke with our correspondents said many people are anxious to see the inquiry committee report. It was also gathered that Ita-elewa center should be used as car parks for the plaza to enhance accessibility of vehicles to the set of shops.
State holders believe that with a convenient garage around the plaza, business activities will boom as many buyers and sellers will find it convenient to supply and distribute wares.
The logic is that the shops will become highly competitive and business people will jostle to pick up shops in the plaza.
One of the few shop occupants in the Ikorodu Plaza lament over the way the chairmen of the local government councils and CDAs jettisoned the complex for other things, he believe the Ikorodu plaza is a goldmine which has been abandoned to gather dust for years. The council chairmen are not taking advantage of the plaza to increase their source of revenue by abandoning the place. The concerned tenant said the inquiry committee report is expected to come up with comprehensive outline on how to revamp and salvage the Ikorodu plaza.
He anticipates a good plan and strategy to repositioning the mega shopping plaza through aggressive publicity, adverts, jingles and different means of couraging more occupants to take up shops.
In a series of interviews with our correspondents, some of the few occupants of the Ikorodu plaza wondered why the chairmen have not thought about the plaza all these while and have failed to rub minds together to explore possible ways to maximize profit from the mega plaza. Some people suggested that the Ladega Market occupants should be channeled to the shopping mega plaza by giving them incentives, after all the Ladega market is a residential area not a business district.