In a significant development, the Lagos State Government has officially reopened the Mile 12 International Market on Monday, following its temporary closure just a few days ago. The decision to close the market, as reported by the Agency, was made in response to observed environmental infractions that posed serious threats to public health and safety.
Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, delivered the announcement of the market’s reopening, citing a comprehensive assessment that encompassed several crucial aspects of environmental compliance, waste management practices, and overall cleanliness within the market premises.
He emphasized that the government remained unwavering in its commitment to safeguarding environmental standards and public well-being, which are non-negotiable priorities. Wahab expressed concern about the negative impact of environmental negligence, stressing that the government couldn’t afford to allow these values to erode due to the actions of a minority.
“We cannot continue to be nonchalant about our environment. Our negative attitude towards the environment must stop. The way we treat the environment is the way the environment treats us. We cannot fold our arms and allow the nonchalance of a few to affect the generality of the people,” Commissioner Wahab stated.
The reopening of Mile 12 International Market followed rigorous compliance with established environmental standards and safety measures, which had been stipulated as prerequisites for the resumption of market activities. The Commissioner also highlighted the government’s reluctance to close markets but asserted that enforcement was necessary when public health and environmental concerns arose.
Wahab extended a strong message to the traders, urging them to adhere to acceptable standards, prioritizing hygiene for their well-being and that of the public. He emphasized the government’s commitment to taking decisive action should the market return to its previous unhygienic practices.
Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, the Managing Director/CEO of the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), offered insight into the steps taken to address environmental concerns around market facilities. He stated, “The temporary closure of Mile 12 Market was essential to address observed environmental issues. We aim to ensure that all markets in Lagos, including Mile 12, operate in line with environmental regulations, creating a safer and healthier trading environment for everyone involved.”
Gbadegesin detailed the collaborative efforts between LAWMA and Mile 12 Market traders and associations, which included actions such as the placement of waste bins, proper waste collection and disposal, employment of waste policing, bin keepers, and payment for waste services. He called upon traders to demonstrate wholehearted commitment to the state’s environmental laws, which would pave the way for a cleaner and healthier environment benefiting both the traders and their customers.
Notably, the Mile 12 International Market had been sealed alongside the Owode Onirin Market due to various environmental infractions, signifying the government’s resolute stance in enforcing environmental standards and public safety.
As the market reopens, it is expected that these measures will help promote cleanliness, hygiene, and environmental compliance, ensuring the well-being of all those who frequent the Mile 12 International Market.