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THE Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), has shutdown Oyingbo and Alayabiagba Markets in Lagos Mainland after series of unheeded warnings to all the market operators to obey the environmental guidelines of the state.
Other markets that risk imminent shut-down for improper waste disposal and sundry environmental infractions include Tejuosho Model Market Phase 1, Ladipo Market in Mushin, Anjorin Market, Irewolede Plank Market, Idi-Araba Obele Market, Oni Baba Market, Oba Morufu International Market, formerly known as Ejigbo Market, Ijora 7UP Market, Oke Afa Plank Market, Ifelodun Fruit Market and Amukoko, among others.
Commenting on the development, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of LAWMA, Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, said the Authority’s decision to shut down the markets was arrived at, after several warnings about their noncompliance with the state’s Environmental Protection Laws, which emphasised zero tolerance for environmental offences, such as indiscriminate dumping of refuse, wilful defacing of the environment and refusal to pay for waste services.
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He said, “LAWMA has continued to work relentlessly to improve the environment across the state, particularly commercial facilities, by putting in place several measures aimed at maintaining the cleanliness of the city.
However, some individuals and markets are busy undermining our efforts by refusing to abide by the laws and regulations. As the need arises, such individuals, dealers and markets, will be dealt with, by the law”.
Dr. Gbadegesin cautioned that other markets engaging in irresponsible waste disposal and other environmental violations would face similar harsh consequences, if they refused to turn a new leaf, adding that the executive members of such markets would also be held accountable.
“It is imperative that we hold businesses accountable for their environmental responsibilities. This enforcement action by LAWMA aims to promote a culture of compliance and create a more livable city for all residents. I also want to emphasise that once a market is closed, it would meet all requirements before being reopened for business”, he said.
In a related development, the LAWMA boss hinted at plans to dislodge illegal market structures sprouting across the metropolis such as Fiki Marina fruit market, Victoria Island market by Abraham Adesanya roundabout Ajah, Jakande market by Jakande bus stop, Traders Opposite Oniru Market, Oniru and New Road Market by New Road Bus-stop, which according to him were posing safety hazards and impeding the free flow of traffic, as well as urban planning efforts.
Dr. Gbadegesin restated that removing illegal market structures is pivotal for urban planning and development. It allows for proper zoning and allocation of spaces, ensuring a more organised and aesthetically pleasing cityscape.
He further disclosed that the Authority was seeking collaboration with market associations, local authorities, and relevant stakeholders, to ensure the success of the initiatives, adding that the agency would provide guidance and support to markets, towards establishing efficient waste management systems that comply with established regulations.
He urged markets in the state to support the Authority’s efforts, by following stipulated waste management guidelines, adding that with the agency’s concerted efforts and cooperation of residents, the state would witness significant improvement in waste management, resulting in a cleaner and healthier environment for all.