The Lagos State Government on Monday, announced the immediate reopening of Mile 12 International Market, following its full compliance with prescribed environmental standards and safety measures. This decision came after the market had been sealed, along with Owode Onirin Market, on Friday due to various environmental violations by the Lagos State Government.
In a statement issued on Monday, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, the Lagos Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, disclosed that the reopening of the market occurred after a comprehensive assessment that evaluated multiple aspects of environmental compliance, waste management practices, and the overall cleanliness of the market.
Mr. Wahab emphasized the non-negotiable importance of matters relating to the environment, public health, and safety. He stressed that the government would not stand idly by as these fundamental values were compromised by the actions of a few individuals.
“We cannot afford to be indifferent to the state of our environment. Our behaviour towards the environment must change. The way we treat our environment is the way it treats us. We cannot ignore the irresponsible actions of a small minority that jeopardize the well-being of the majority,” Mr. Wahab declared.
He went on to state, “After ensuring that the environmental standards and safety measures, which were previously stipulated as prerequisites for reopening closed markets, have been fully adhered to, the Lagos State Government has instructed the immediate reopening of Mile 12 International Market. Despite extensive awareness campaigns and public education, the government had no choice but to enforce these measures. This enforcement will be an ongoing process, as no government takes pleasure in shutting down markets.”
Mr. Wahab called upon traders to strictly follow acceptable standards, with a strong emphasis on hygiene for their own health and that of the general public. He underscored that the government would not hesitate to close down any market that reverts to unsanitary practices.
Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, the Managing Director/CEO of the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), also commented on the market’s reopening. He emphasized LAWMA’s commitment to environmental sustainability and public safety, particularly in and around market facilities in the state.
“The temporary closure of Mile 12 Market was necessary to address observed environmental concerns. Our goal is to ensure that all markets in Lagos, including Mile 12, operate in compliance with environmental regulations, creating a safer and healthier trading environment for everyone involved,” Dr. Gbadegesin said.
He added that LAWMA had worked closely with the traders and market associations to implement corrective actions, such as the placement of waste bins, proper waste collection and disposal, the employment of waste policing, bin keepers, and payment for waste services, among other measures.
Dr. Gbadegesin urged traders in the market to fully embrace the state’s environmental laws to pave the way for a cleaner and healthier environment for both traders and their customers.
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