Market leaders have been warned by the Lagos State Government not to jeopardise efforts at averting flooding, just as it stated that any market found involved in indiscriminate dumping of waste or blocking drainages will be shut down.
The Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Dr. Wale Ahmed, gave the warning at a one-day seminar organised in collaboration with the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), in Agege, saying that the need to revisit the issue of market sanitation and security has become imperative, considering the increase in population and waste generation in the State.
In his words: “The benefits and advantages of sanitation in our markets cannot be overemphasised, considering the fact that we have 382 registered markets in Lagos State. In view of the untoward incidents occurring everywhere, it will not be out of place that vigilance and intelligence gathering should form part of our primary responsibility. This will help us to be proactive and also be steps ahead of anyone or groups planning to degrade the environment”.
In her keynote address, Chairperson of COWLSO and wife of the State Governor, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, emphasised that hygiene and cleanliness in the marketplace must be given the seriousness it deserves towards securing the health of the people, pointing out that there is a nexus between the state of the environment of a particular geographical location and the wellbeing of the people in such areas.
“It is important that we appeal to our market men and women to do away with unhygienic practices including indiscriminate dumping of waste, blocking of drainages and street trading. The truth of the matter is that it is in our collective interest to imbibe international best practices in administering markets and protecting our environment”, Dr. Sanwo-Olu declared.
The Lagos First Lady stated that the issue of hygiene and cleanliness in markets is paramount and that every necessary step must be taken by all stakeholders to inspire a healthy and secured marketplace.
Her words: “Also, we have intentionally included security and safety of our markets as part of the topics at this seminar. First of all, security is everybody’s business and as market men and women and community leaders, we must be conscious of the need to make our security a priority. When we see something, we must say something”.
“Security in the marketplace is paramount and there must be proper identification of all traders and people trading in the market. The Monitoring and Evaluation of security activities in the market must be a daily affair and also in every community”, she said.
“Fire outbreaks in the market must be addressed in order to protect the investments of the people, going forward”, Mrs. Sanwo-Olu added.
On his part, Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs. Belinda Odeneye, tasked all market women and men on ensuring proper hygiene.
She maintained that there is an urgent need for market leaders to ensure sanitation and security are prioritised in all markets until they become a model for other markets in Nigeria and Africa at large.
The Managing Director, LAWMA, Mr. Ibrahim Odumboni, assured market leaders and stakeholders that the State Government has equipped the agency with all the resources needed to ensure markets are clean, promising that the agency would leave no stone unturned to rid markets of waste.
Similarly, Iyaloja-General, Chief (Mrs) Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, urged market leaders to instil sanity in the markets by preventing market men and women from extending their wares and products beyond the allotted perimeters.
The event, which was also attended by the Director, Lagos State Fire Service, Mrs. Margaret Adeseye; CP Hakeem Odumosu (represented by ACP Ola Agboola) and other stakeholders, is one of the contributory efforts of the First Lady, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, through COWLSO, to ensure markets in the State are clean and secure.