By:Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
With the surging outbreak of coronavirus disease, codenamed covid 19, businesses in Bayelsa state like their contemporaries in other climes have started recounting loses owing to restrictions placed by the Government as part of its efforts on curbing the spread.
Our correspondent who visited major business outfits in Yenagoa metropolis reports that the enterprenuerial outlook of the state seems so gloomy as patronage has lately become low.
In an interview with the Manager, Aqualina Water Dr Banabo Ekankumo,a major water production company in the state and his accounting counterpart from Fido Water production company,Mr Ebitimi Forcadost our sources gathered that the business operators are groaning over the high cost of production occasioned by the outbreak of the dreaded virus.
The duo allayed fears amongst other things,as multiple Government taxations and the covid 19 brouhaha has worsened patronage duo to customers fear of contracting the virus.
Banabo and Forcados reiterated that they have adhered to Government’s guidelines of curbing the spread of the virus,saying the Government should make incentives available for businesses to thrive in the state.
In a related development, the Permanent Secretary, Bayelsa state Ministry of Trade,Industry and Investment, Mr Tony Tombiri says the Ministry is waiting the directives of the Government as regards the closure of the State Owned Swali Ultra modern market in Yenagoa as part of its measures in containing the virus.
Tombiri who spoke with our correspondent in Yenagoa stated that though the closure of the market may not augur well with the traders their,it becomes the the best alternative to reducing the spread of the highly contagious disease.
“We’re waiting for Government’s directive on the closure of the Swali market.The Swali market is owned by the state Government.The other markets are owned by the Local Governments. Our major concern is the welfare of Bayelsans if the virus spreads to the state,” he said.
Though no closure date has been given,the permanent Secretary reassured that all the Ministry is waiting for is the directive of the Government on the closure or otherwise of the largest market in the state.
Meanwhile,the chairman,Swali Market Traders association, Deacon Jackson Bobbra has denied knowledge of a planned closure of the market.
Bobbra who said he has not been communicated by the Government on the plan closure pleaded with the Government to have a rethink of its action,saying while combating the outbreak of Covid 19 the citizens must not be kept to starve in the mixed of the illness.
“Up until now I’ve not been communicated by the Government on their planned closure of this market.I hear it as rumour. If this market is shutdown it will worsen the situation in the state,” he said.
In another development, the state Ministry of Health has doused fears that Covid 19 has spread to the state.
The permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Inodu Apoku in a press statement made available to our sources said though there were rumours of suspected cases,those rumoured to have contracted the virus all tested negative in the state centres dedicated for carrying out test.
Apoku advised Bayelsans to take precautions against the spread,saying that at present information available to the ministry shows that there is no recorded covid 19 case in the state,stating that the rumours making rounds are products of fake News peddlers.