The Lagos State Government has taken decisive action to address deteriorating hygiene and environmental violations in Mile 12 International and Owode Onirin markets, announcing their immediate closure. This operation, conducted jointly by the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and the Lagos Environmental Sanitation Corps (KAI), was initiated at the directive of Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources.
The Commissioner emphasised the government’s unwavering commitment to maintaining stringent sanitation standards in markets across the state, underlining the pivotal role of cleanliness and adherence to environmental regulations in creating a healthier city. In his statement, Mr. Wahab stated, “Recent events at Mile 12 and Owode Onirin markets have brought to light the pressing need for strict adherence to sanitation standards in our markets. The closure, though a difficult decision, is a necessary step to address the prevailing environmental challenges and to ensure the safety and well-being of all stakeholders.”
The closure of these markets is seen as an opportunity for stakeholders to evaluate the situation, improve public health, and restore environmental sanity in these areas. It is a response to the escalating deterioration of conditions in the markets, prompting the need for immediate intervention.
Commissioner Wahab emphasized that this enforcement action is part of a comprehensive strategy to instill a culture of cleanliness and compliance with environmental regulations in markets throughout the state. He urged traders and customers to prioritise hygiene and sustainable practices in their daily business activities.
Furthermore, safety audit personnel will be deployed to assess the situation before considering reopening, sending a clear message to other markets to prioritize cleanliness and environmental hygiene to avoid severe sanctions.
Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, the Managing Director/CEO of LAWMA, reiterated that the closure was a result of severe unhygienic conditions and a multitude of environmental infractions. He stressed that this action was necessary to protect public health and ensure a thorough cleanup and sanitisation process.
Dr. Gbadegesin also emphasised the Lagos State Government’s unwavering commitment to enforcing sanitation and environmental regulations, especially around business facilities. He called on markets in the state to collaborate with the government by complying with laws and regulations, contributing to making the city cleaner and more livable for all residents.