Early November last year, NCD witnessed the opening of the K30 million, first of its kind, two-story Gordon Formal Market.
An initiative by the National Capital District and the New Zealand Government.
But while it has been open for business, there are vendors trading outside of the market. Youth Leader, Jack Kanu, said there are three points to the issue.
He said the vendors found the K35 a week fee for using the market was too high, that there were more sellers from outside of Moresby North East with most Gordon vendors refused space, and that youths’ practice of criminal activities scare off customers making it difficult for vendors to make enough profit from sales, hence making it hard for them to meet the formal market’s fee.
“I appeal to the NCD governor to reduce the fee from K5 to K2” said a concerned youth, Newman Churchill, on behalf of the vendors trading outside of the formal market.
The Formal Market, which is supposed to hold up to at least 2000 vendors, now only has the first floor almost full with more retailers than customers in sight.
In partnership with NCD and the UN, a program, “Petty Crime Stoppers” was activated, engaging youths to keep surveillance of Gordon since last October, however, when interviewed, the youths complained they had not been paid since their assignment.
Petty Crime Stoppers Supervisor, Wallis Apaso, said a solution to the formal market issue would be to bring various bus stops from Unagi Oval back to Gordons, and pay the Petty Crime Stoppers what they are due to help keep order in Gordon and around the market place.
He stressed that customers will come to a market that has easy access to a bus stop and is guaranteed safety, of which the Petty Crime Stoppers can ensure.
“This will benefit both the vendors and the customers,” he said.
EMTV had been refused media privileges of the formal market and attempts to reach the city authority had been unsuccessful.
By Natasha Ovoi – EM TV News Cadet Journalist, Port Moresby