The Lagos State Government has officially reopened Alaba International Market and several markets at the Trade Fair Complex, Ojo, following their earlier closure due to environmental infractions, including improper waste management. Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, confirmed that the decision to reopen these markets was made after addressing the environmental issues that led to their closure.
Wahab firmly refuted claims that the closure had political or ethnic motivations and stressed that it was solely aimed at ensuring a clean and healthy environment in and around these business facilities. He explained, “The closure of those markets had no ethnic or political motives, as it was done to ensure cleanliness and environmental sustainability for the good of all residents.” He further emphasised that rigorous assessments and the implementation of stringent environmental standards were the basis for their reopening, ensuring that businesses operate in an environmentally responsible manner.
Maintaining a harmonious balance between commerce and environmental health was underscored by Wahab, who also stated that the enforcement of these standards would be continuous. The government stands ready to seal any market or corporate facility found to be in violation of the stipulated environmental regulations.
Commenting on the market reopenings, Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, Managing Director of Lagos Waste Management Authority, highlighted the collaborative efforts made with market officials to meet environmental standards. He emphasised the importance of markets operating in an economically viable and environmentally responsible manner. Gbadegesin stated, “We have standards that each market in the state has to comply with to make our business environment clean and healthy for buyers and sellers.”
These standards include proper waste management, a zero-tolerance policy for open burning of waste, and no dumping of waste in drainage channels. Market policing personnel will also monitor market sanitation, and distance from road setbacks, medians, and market surroundings will be observed to prevent indiscriminate waste dumping. Eradicating street trading and trading on road medians and shoulders, which obstruct traffic flow, is another critical aspect of these standards.
Gbadegesin urged both users and business owners to demonstrate their commitment to environmental sustainability through responsible waste disposal and adherence to environmental laws to prevent the closure of markets due to violations.