The Lagos State Government has reopened Alaba International Market and some other markets at the Trade Fair Complex, Ojo, on Saturday. The state government shut the markets earlier because of improper waste management and other environmental infractions.
Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tokunbo Wahab, said the markets were reopened after the environmental issues had been addressed.
Wahab dismissed claims in some quarters that political motives were behind the closure of the markets and stressed that the step was taken to ensure a clean and healthy environment around business facilities.
“I state emphatically that 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. The decision to reopen the markets followed rigorous assessment and implementation of stringent environmental standards.
“These standards were set to guarantee that businesses in the state operate in a manner that is not detrimental to the environment and the well-being of the people,’’ Wahab said.
He reiterated the significance of maintaining a harmonious balance between commerce and environmental health. He said the enforcement would be continuous as the government would not hesitate to seal any market or corporate facility found wanting.
Commenting on the reopening of the markets, Managing Director of Lagos Waste Management Authority, Dr Muyiwa Gbadegesin, said it worked with market officials to ensure the attainment of environmental standards.
He said it was important for markets to operate in a manner that was economically viable and environmentally responsible.
“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 include proper waste management, zero tolerance for open burning of waste and zero tolerance for dumping of wastes in the drainage channels.
“Others are the engagement of market policing personnel to monitor market sanitation, observance of distance from road setbacks, medians and market surroundings to avoid indiscriminate dumping. We must also ensure the eradication of street trading and trading on road medians and shoulders, which obstruct the free flow of traffic.
“Tariffs must also be fully paid as any violation of the stated regulations would attract penalties and possible subsequent closure of offending markets,’’ he said.
Gbadegesin urged users and business owners to show commitment to environmental sustainability through proper waste disposal and adherence to environmental laws to prevent market closures. (NAN)