Elega Market: The knowledge we have gained cannot be taken from us, it is better than money.

The Elega market is a compound market because it is situated amid residences in Abeokuta, Ogun State. Starting with about 4 – 5 stores, the market came into existence over 60 years ago and was a meet-up point for farmers to sell their produce. Today, the market has grown to be a daily market, but large convergence happens every 5 days with farmers and traders around the state coming to buy and sell.  Just like other establishments, the market has experienced various challenges such as land, electricity, good road, good water, street trading and sanitation.

The market management has always relied on the government to address these challenges and issues with the market, they never believed that their market challenges could be resolved themselves and for this reason, never made headway in addressing the challenges. While waiting for government intervention, they remained in their distress.

Elega market began to experience some changes and growth having participated in the SEDIN capacity-building exercises. Members of the market leaders association (MLA) participated in training on enhancing market association capacity for productivity, leadership, customer relationship, advocacy and dialogue, negotiation and dispute resolution. The MLA has also been able to cascade the learnings from the training to other members of the association as well as the traders in the market, this has unified the growth of the market.

Elega market

Impressive Results

The MLA has seen growth in the market, they testified to have learned a lot from the capacity building and improved their thinking. Key successes so far include;

  • Certification of recognition as a market among the Abeokuta North Market traders
  • Toilet and bathroom constructed
  • Solar panel installed for electricity
  • Improved safety by engaging security guards
  • Market land/space fully exhausted
  • Using digital tools for information dissemination
Some of the Elega market woman

The Market Intervention

The market intervention is an initiative of the Pro-Poor Growth and Promotion of Employment in Nigeria Programme – SEDIN.

The relevance and importance of local markets and improved market services (including facilities) cannot be over-emphasized as they provide strategic institutions and economic hubs for the development of a local economy and the facilitation of business exchanges. In a market, boundaries segregation and barriers do not exist as it congregates people with a shared interest in commerce, exchange and livelihood aspirations. Therefore SEDIN has taken an interest in market intervention, considering that markets play such a significant role in daily commerce, livelihoods (providing income and employment) and improved welfare (helping to lift people out of poverty) of our target groups.

None of these interventions is funded but focused on building and enhancing the existing human capacity in the market through the associations.

Members of the Elega market association

“GIZ helped us to get certified by introducing us as a market under the local government and we have now been officially recognised. GIZ made us understand that we should and can stand alone without depending on the government. They made us understand that dispute and quarrel does not resolve issues but working together brings progress. We were trained on how to generate revenue for the growth of the market.”

Alhaji Ismail A. Ibrahim

“GIZ helped us to understand that some things can be done in 24 hours, 72 hours, or a week. They geared us up to fast thinking about what we can do within a short period. In every training, we bring back something new for the market, there is always a new thing to learn after every session. The knowledge we have gained cannot be taken away from us for life, it is better than money.”

Mrs Aremu Abiodun, Secretary