The Market Leaders Association of Nigeria (TMLAN) on Sunday urged government at the three levels to prioritise issues affecting traders.

The President of the association, Mr Charles Obih, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that their expectations revolved around the enhancement of trading system.

He said that their contribution to the growth and development of the economy made it important for them to be active in economic management and governance.

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“We urge the governments to do justice to the Nigerian populace by involving market leaders in governance so that we can have a say in issues affecting us.

“We plead that the government should dialogue with us as regards issues and policies that will affect trading activities before they formulate and implement policies.

“We urge the government to also develop infrastructure in markets; most markets do not have good road networks, portable water and drainage systems.

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“We feel cheated and neglected because we are contributing immensely to the economy without commensurate care from the government,’’ he said.

Obih urged the Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, to build markets with affordable shops across the state.

“The government should strive to make shops affordable for all traders; the affordability of shops will help to eradicate street trading.

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“Most of the shops built by the government are beyond the means of petty traders.

“We are also looking at a situation whereby the Federal Government, in collaboration with state governments can facilitate a single digit interest micro credit loans for traders.

“This will help us to collectively grow the economy through improved contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP),’’ he said. (NAN)