The market was conceptualized in the early 1980s as the first FCDA-built market and managed by the defunct Markets Management Committee in the FCDA.
- Between 2006 and 2007, 95% of the Lock-up shops were leased out by Abuja Investments Company Limited(AICL) to individuals vested with a 50-year sub-lease, AICL however retains the superior title (Head lease) over the market.
- The shops that were not sold and the informal sector/ open stalls are leased out to traders who pay rent to AICL annually.
Change in Management: A Government-owned Facility Management Company- Abuja Markets Management Limited (AMML) took over the management of Wuse Market on February 14, 2005. This is away from the situation in the past when there was no proper management of the facility aside the supervision role of the Market Management Committee and the Traders’ Association.
Introduction Of Charges And Toll: Though, the Traders’ Association was collecting some levies from its members prior to 2005, a formal charges of provision of services was introduced by AMML payable by all occupants of the shops for services ranging from security cleaning and waste evacuation to routine maintenance.
Also, following the successful sanitization of the market, car parks and other common areas hitherto taken over by makeshift shopping structures were recovered. This paved way for shoppers to park within the perimeter of the market (unlike before) and ushered in the current tolling system at the market.
Introduction of Pre-Paid (Individual) Meter: After the removal of the illegal structures in the market and the takeover of the management by Abuja Markets Management Limited, National Electricity Power Authority ( NEPA) as it was then called, came up with outstanding bill amounting to over N14 Million. The traders could not pay. They argued that those who consumed the energy have been removed from the market following the clean up exercise. It was a difficult task, but the Market Management and NEPA sat down and reviewed the bill down to N9Million and eventually N5 Million.
This challenge threw up the need for a pay as you go meter that will enable every shop determine the amount it spend on energy at any given period, hence the migration through the concerted effort of the Management and the traders’ representatives from Maximum Demand Meter to Pre-paid Meter.
ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOLUTION
As time went on and with the increasing need for stable power supply, preparedness against fire disaster as well as increasing awareness climate change, AICL, AMML, Traders’ Association teamed up with Private solar power developer working together with AEDC REA and other relevant Government Agencies to bring an a hybrid power solution to the market. The pilot project has been on while the full project is currently on 65% completion stage.
The market had at inception, 1365 shop built with burnt bricks. Other shops built cement blocks were to later find their ways into the market due to high demand for shopping facilities then in the Federal Capital City. Most of these blocks of shops that illegally found their ways into the market were removed during the sanitization exercise that took place.
Later due approval were obtained for the development of new high rising building called the section ‘c’ of the market with 220 numbers of shops to cater for some traders who were affected by the demolition exercise. The same reason gave birth to the development of the dome-shaped open stalls(500 in number) that house the micro business owners, otherwise called the “informal sector’- a term coined by the market managers for want of better description of this group.
A few years ago, another temporal shopping spaces of about the same number, now described as dry informal sector was created to cater for increasing demand for shopping spaces by petty traders.
Traditional African Market Era: As was mentioned in the origin and historical background of the Market, it started out as an open market within an area outside where the market is situated today, known as the Rock park. The rock park is now being used as car park and relaxation area still serving the users of the market but not within the control of the market managers.
The markets during this era, served the indigenous Gwari communities of Abuja. It eventually grew to an international market attracting patrons from up to the neighbouring countries of Niger and Cameroun on certain days of the week.
This era continued until the early 1980s when the Federal Capital Government started the relocation and resettlement of the Indigenous people of Abuja to give way for the structural development of the city as the Nation’s Federal Capital Territory.
The Indigenous people of Wuse were relocated out of their ancestral domain and it was expected that their market should have relocated with them, this was not to be. The traditional Wuse Market operating once in a week at what is today described as the rock park continued to attract patrons from far and near.
The more the Government fought to remove the market, the stronger it waxed.
The Government reluctantly caved in to what they would describe as ‘mysterious’ power sustaining the market in Wuse.
The Adoption Era: The Then Minister, Federal Capital Territory, General Maman Vasta in 1985 adopted the stubborn Traditional Wuse Market as a component of the new city by turning a vocational center to what is today known as Wuse Market following the frustration encountered by the administration in an attempt to relocate the market.
The idea then, was to move the market from its open air location into the blocks of shops that had become Wuse Modern Market. Yet it wouldn’t move. Traders were invited within and outside Abuja to come take shops in the new market and operate for free, but they won’t just come. Those who attempt to come, go after a short while for lack of patronage. At a point it was used as toilets.
As a marketing strategy, according to Seriki Kasuwa, one of the oldest staff inherited by Abuja Markets Management Limited, the first Manager of the market, wrote and obtained an approval from the Administration to create a motor park within the market such that from there travelers could board a vehicle to most cities of Northern Nigeria. This, he said, helped to boost patronage.
The overflow/crazy Era: If there was any single decision that caused an oversubscription of shops in Wuse market and the attendant pressure it suffered, it was the directives in 1991 by President Babangida Administration that all Ministries, Agencies and Parastatals of Government hitherto with Head quarters in Lagos should relocate to Abuja.
This brought about increased activities and population in Abuja, but not with a commensurate plan for the shopping needs of the new environment. It was therefore to be expected that the capacity of the market would soon be overstretched.
Everyone needed a shop in Wuse Market –for that was the only one available and before you knew it, all car parks, common areas, drainages etc were converted to shops.
It had well over 12000 illegal structure introduced within the space of about 10 years.
The Sanitized Era
The current Governor of Kaduna State Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai was appointed the FCT Minister in 2003. His major mandate was to restore the city of Abuja to its master plan. Wuse Market was then, a flagship of master plan distortion. Bulldozer moved into the market the next year, ravaging every nook and cranny of market, eating up all illegal structure in its way.
At the end of the demolition exercise, it was reported that over 12,000 containers, attachments and canopies as well as other illegal structures were removed from the market.
Over 80million naira owed to government by rent defaulter were rcovered before the shop were given out on long leases with the traders enjoying the first right of refusal.
It is to the credit of AMML that the sanitized status of Wuse Market has been sustained ever since.
- Its central location which makes easy to access from any part of the capital city.
- It is a general commodity market and therefore address the shopping needs of varying categories of customers
- Whereas it competes favorably with any other shops in the plazas, it enjoys comparative advantage in terms of price affordability
- It is managed by professional facility managers which enhances security and ambience of the shopping environment
- The Market is famous all over the country in the sale of gold and other quality jewelries.
- As a result of these aforementioned qualities, the market has grown beyond serving commercial values to also become a tourist destination for local and international visitors to the Federal Capital City.
- Advanced safety and security features such as: remotely monitored CCTV, well-lit night environment,24/7 Police/ private security surveillance’ Motorized firefighting equipment, Fire-fighting equipment & Trained personnel
- Automated Access Control,
- Regularly-cleaned environment,
- Adequate Public Convenience
- paved and asphalted drive/walkways,
- good internal drainages
- ample Parking facilities,
- Restaurants &food courts/ sit outs
- Banking Facilities
- Public conveniences
- Easy Navigation
- Footfall- Approximately 30,000/daily
- TYPES OF GOODS SOLD–
Wuse market is a general commodity market supplying both retail and wholesale needs of its customers .the types of goods sold are diverse ranging from jewelry, phones/accessories, groceries, clothing to frozen foods,etc.
- NUMBER OF SHOPS AND STALLS IN THE MARKET
The shops and stalls in the market are grouped and numbered in the following ways:
- FORMAL SECTOR: the formal sector is grouped into the old and new blocks. The old block comprises of the block A and B which both have a total of 1,365 shops.
The new block is located in block C and has a total 220 shops. These 220 shops have 120 retail shops, 48 ware houses, 40 cold rooms and 12 stores.
- INFORMAL SECTOR (OPEN STALLS): this comprises of 500 spaces