The Centre for Human and Socio-Economic Rights (CHSR) has called upon Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State to reconsider the closure of Owode Onirin and Mile 12 International markets as a means to alleviate the ongoing economic hardship faced by many.
In a statement released on Saturday, Mr. Alex Omotehinse, the National President of CHSR, expressed concerns about the recent market closures, describing them as a “misplaced priority.”
Omotehinse emphasised that reopening these markets is essential to prevent unintended consequences for economic investments and the livelihoods of a substantial portion of the population.
“We condemn the recent closure of Owode Onirin and Mile 12 International markets by the Lagos State Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab,” Omotehinse stated.
CHSR stressed that the closures come at a time when various actions have already negatively impacted the livelihoods of countless Lagos residents, making them an unfortunate and misguided decision.
It’s important to note that these two markets are not only crucial for the economic survival of numerous traders across the country but also play a strategic role in the supply of perishable foods and vehicle spare parts in Sub-Saharan Africa.
CHSR pointed out that both markets have consistently demonstrated their commitment to maintaining a clean environment in the past. They have introduced innovations and made substantial infrastructural improvements that have significantly enhanced market standards.
The organization emphasised that while the Lagos State Government aims to ensure clean and hygienic market environments, the arbitrary closure of markets should not be employed as a punitive measure. It should be acknowledged that the state’s environmental agencies have fallen short of traders’ expectations, despite fulfilling their obligations to the waste disposal authorities.
Mile 12 International Market, in particular, has earned a reputation as the best-maintained perishable food market in Nigeria, serving as an example for similar markets across the country.
CHSR reiterated that frequent and arbitrary market closures during a time of economic downturn, when citizens are struggling to make ends meet, are ill-conceived and counterproductive.
It’s worth noting that the Lagos State Government announced the immediate closure of Mile 12 International and Owode Onirin markets on Friday due to various environmental infractions.