The Dr. Doris Amaka Ochei Foundation (DAO Foundation) Monday achieved a milestone when it brought back to use the market at Onicha-Olona that was built 20 years ago by the local government administration of Callistus Nwawolo but abandoned because of lack of good access road.
However, through the magnanimity and benevolence of the DAO Foundation that has Dr. (Mrs) Doris Amaka Ochei, wife of Major General Raymond Ochei as founder and President, the market was rehabilitated, expanded and commissioned by Aniocha North Local Government Chairman, Hon. Kevin Okwechime for immediate us. Okwechime was represented at the event by the Secretary to the Local Government, Hon. Kennedy Okoh.
The event which brought joy to the sleepy town of Onicha Olona was graced by notable personalities, including the Obi of Onicha-Olona, His Royal Majesty Obi Uzu Diji, former Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly and Executive Director, NIMASA, Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei, Major Gen. Ochei, the Omu Anioma, Martha Dunkwu, the clergy among numerous others.
Speaking at the commissioning and unveiling of the plaque of the market, President of DAO Foundation, Dr (Mrs) Doris Amaka Ochei, while thanking God for the grace and the guests for gracing the occasion said: “Today for me is a dream come through because the day that we came to commission this road, I looked at the market and I felt that it was a huge waste leaving the market lying like this. And I decided that something has to be done to encourage women to come here to start trading.”
She said that the Dr. Doris Amaka Ochei Foundation (DAO Foundation) is one that is interested in community development, especially uplifting the standard of living of the men, women and children.
She explained that this is because of the peculiar nature of women and the responsibility of training and bringing up the children, taking care, of their husbands, the home and making themselves, as wives, presentable to husbands make huge demand on the women.
Dr (Mrs) Ochei said: “That is why DAO Foundation is interested in women. So we looked at it and said if we empower women so they can become financially capable. When I say financially capable, I don’t mean being independent because you can’t be independent from your husband, no matter how rich you are. But capable to be able to take care of some things; take care of yourself without stressing the man all the time.”
She urged the women to understand that it is important for them to engage their minds to be financially able to do things little by little and thus help to reduce pressure on husbands. “You will help to train the children; you will look good for your husband and even come to assist your husband in case he becomes a little bit financially dependent,” Dr. (Mrs) Ochei said.
She pointed out that being women they need to be financially capable. “This is why we said putting this market into operation will enable women to take advantage of it to support their families. That’s why we took interest in bringing up this market,” she said.
Dr. (Mrs) Ochei then encouraged the women to immediately begin to put the market to use by moving their wares and products into the stalls.
Urging them to begin to operate the market daily henceforth, she said: “Operating daily market is important. With daily market people will no longer go to Issele-Uku to buy things. It is based on this that we said that the 87 market women who are already established as traders in this market, DAO Foundation will support you with N50,000 each . This will stand as take off grant for you.”
She continued: “I encourage you to move into this market immediately. Understand that once this becomes a regular market in Onicha-Olona, it will attract other commercial activities; attract people including those who operate garri business. When they begin to come, they will need rented accommodation and so on and so forth.
“That’s why I am asking and pleading with you to move into this market facility immediately to commence trading activities,” the Dao Foundation president said.
She greeting members of the Omu institution, acknowledging that the market place is their turf and responsibility.
Speaking, the Aniocha North Local Government Chairman, Hon. Kevin Okwechime, who was represented by the Secretary to the Local Government, Hon. Kennedy Okoh, while commending the people of Onicha-Olona for the epoch making event that will go down in history as an effort to deepen the concept of Private-Public- Partnership and self-help effort in community development, acknowledged with commendation the vision and commitment of Dr. (Mrs) Doris Amaka Ochei Foundation to the rehabilitation/expansion of the modern market that has the potential to inspire a wide range of income generating and livelihood enhancing activities.
“Permit me therefore to assert here with every sense of responsibility that with your resounding successful execution of this project, you have demonstrated your love for our people and created another window for improved economic activities towards wealth creation and poverty reduction,” Hon. Okwechime said, adding that the strategic location of the Onicha-Olona places the town as a transit community and market/commercial hub of its neighbouring communities.
While pointing out that the modern market beckons on all market men and women within the local government area and beyond, the Council Chairman called on the people to urgently acquire stalls in the market to boost their individual trade.
He said: “It is worthy at this juncture to state that it’s consistent with regular practice and pursuant to Section 7, 4th Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which confers maintenance and management of markets to local government, the Aniocha North Local Government in liaison with the Onicha-Olona Development Union has duly initiated the process of allocation of open stalls in the market through open balloting system. We urge all concerned to urgently pick up the interest expression form either from the Office of the President General of the town’s development union or office of the Secretary to the Local Government at Issele-Uku. Moreover, the Local Government is not unaware of the identified need and upgrade to daily market in the near future.”
The Local Government chairman commended the Onicha-Olona Development Union for its impact on the Council’s area over the years through self-help as evidenced in the novel ideas and patriotism per excellence that the current President General is bringing to bear on community service. “His modest effort is inspiring and requires encouragement,” Hon. Okwechime said.
The President General, Onicha-Olona Development Union, Sir Patrick Ejidoh earlier in his welcome address, expressed the community’s gratitude to Major General Raymond and his wife, Doris for the good gesture. He specially singled out Dr. Mrs Doris Amaka Ochei for her interest in the development of the town. “She completed and tarred the road and went ahead to proclaim that the market’s rehabilitation would be completed by Easter,’ Sir Ejidoh said.
The PG recalled that the market was built 20 years ago in 2003 when Mr. Callistus Nwawolor was the local government chairman. “When the market was completed, the road was dilapidated and it discouraged traders from coming because it was a difficult terrain and people could not access the market. S , the people resorted to trading at the centre of the road with its attendant risk and danger.
Ejidoh also announced that the contractors have done a good job, adding that the water system in the market is working and that the conveniences. However, he said although those essential facilities were working but that it is not yet Uhuru because there’s still much to be done. That notwithstanding, he said Effective today, Tuesday, April 11, 2023 that trading activities will commence in the market. He then said that no trader will be found trading along the road anymore.
Ejidoh also announced that there are 460 stalls in the market, and that the former allocations have been revoked because the allocations were lopsided, pointing out to the applause of the people who rose to dance to the cheering news that the N1,000 each for the form has been paid for all the 87 market women by a good Samaritan, Mr. Nelson Nwachi.
Those who are yet to be allocated stalls, Ejidoh announced that allocation would be made to them by ballot, while each form costs a non refundable fee of N1,000 that must be returned within three days. Onicha-Olona market is therefore, opened for everybody beginning Tuesday, April 11, 2023,” the PG said.
Highlight of the event was the cutting of the tape to inaugurate the market, which was done by the Aniocha North Local Government Chairman, Hon Kevin Okwechime represented by Hon. Kennedy Okoh, Secretary to the Council. Thereafter, the unveiling of the plaque was done by The Omu Anioma, Martha Dunkwu, assisted by the dr. (Mrs) Ochei, her husband, Major Gen. Ochei and the PG, Mr. Ejidoh. Dunkwu also performed other traditional rites, praying for the good of the market and dancing while acknowledging cheers from the people.