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Traders groan over closure of Lagos market

Five days after, the popular Ile Epo Food Market in Lagos State remained sealed by the state government over contravention of environmental laws, with the…

Five days after, the popular Ile Epo Food Market in Lagos State remained sealed by the state government over contravention of environmental laws, with the traders counting losses.

It was learnt that the government sealed the market, the second biggest food market in the state, located in Agbado-Oke Odo LGA along the Lagos-Abeokuta Expresswayby pasting: “The state government has observed that you have contravened the provisions of the Lagos State Environmental Management and Protection Law, No. 10 Vol. 50, 2017, and the Lagos State Waste Management Law 2017.

“You are, therefore, urged to comply fully with the provision of the law and pay the stipulated fines into the coffers of the Lagos State Waste Management Authority before your premises can be reopened.”

Some of the traders were seen outside the market on Thursday after the closure lamenting the development, which they said had cost them fortunes.

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While the seal order indicated the closure was due to environmental concerns, some of the traders also blamed the development on clashes between officials of the market and the revenue collectors over exorbitant charges.

One of the leaders of the market, Thaddeus Oluwadare, said, “The closure of the market goes beyond the environmental concerns raised. There was a clash recently following a protest by traders over exorbitant charges collected on goods coming to the market.

“For instance, for any small car to enter the market, N3,000 levy would be paid, while N10,000 is paid on buses and trucks. Some trailers pay N30,000, some pay N20,000, and if any of the drivers refuses to pay, they would not allow him to enter. What we are saying is that this levy would be transferred to consumers and members of the public.”

Another trader said hundreds of millions of naira was lost daily as no truck or vehicle could come into the market to offload goods.

He said, “What we are losing on a daily basis is in hundreds of millions. The people trading in the market are approximately about two million every day. We urge the state government to unseal the market, as this is not the best time for people to be denied their means of livelihood.”

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