In a significant development, the Lagos State Government has officially reopened the Alaba International Market and several markets located within the Trade Fair Complex in Ojo. These markets were temporarily closed due to issues related to improper waste management and other environmental violations.
According to Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, the decision to reopen these markets came after addressing the environmental concerns that led to their closure. Wahab clarified that there were no political or ethnic motives behind the initial shutdown, emphasizing that the primary objective was to ensure a clean and healthy environment in the vicinity of these business facilities.
Wahab highlighted that the reopening followed a thorough assessment and the implementation of strict environmental standards. These standards were established to ensure that businesses in the state operate in a manner that is environmentally responsible and does not compromise the well-being of residents. He underscored the importance of maintaining a balance between commerce and environmental health.
Furthermore, the Commissioner emphasized that the government would maintain continuous enforcement and would not hesitate to close any market or corporate facility found to be in violation of the established environmental standards.
Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, the Managing Director of the Lagos Waste Management Authority, noted that the agency collaborated closely with market officials to ensure compliance with environmental standards. He stressed the significance of markets operating in an economically viable and environmentally responsible manner. Gbadegesin outlined the specific standards that each market in the state must adhere to, including proper waste management, a zero-tolerance policy for open burning of waste, and the prevention of waste dumping in drainage channels.
Other key requirements included the engagement of market policing personnel to monitor market sanitation, maintaining a distance from road setbacks and medians, and ensuring the eradication of street trading and trading on road medians and shoulders, which obstruct the free flow of traffic. Gbadegesin warned that violations of these regulations would result in penalties and potential closures of offending markets.
In conclusion, Gbadegesin urged both market users and business owners to demonstrate a commitment to environmental sustainability by following proper waste disposal practices and adhering to environmental laws, thereby avoiding future closures of markets.