The Lagos State Waste Management Agency, LAWMA, has disclosed that the decision to shut both the Ladipo and Oyingbo markets is borne out of the desire to prevent an outbreak of an epidemic in the State.
The Managing Director of the Agency, Mr Ibrahim Odumboni, disclosed this while featuring on the TVC News Breakfast Show on Wednesday morning.
Mr Odumboni said the agency has over the last few months worked tirelessly with stakeholders to ensure the traders in both markets adhere to environmental laws of the State to no avail.
He added that the closure of both markets is due to them reverting to type and doing the cleaning up of their markets in a sustainable manner.
He disclosed that with the several Viral diseases and Outbreak of Monkeypox, it is imperative that the State government through all its agencies including LAWMA continue to maintain the highest standards in environmental sanitation.
Read excerpts of the Interview below
So, if you recall very well, sometimes last year those two markets were shut down for the same purpose.
And during the back period, we had a discussion about sustainability and ensuring that the things they were shut for are not something that could be repeated eventually. We’ve seen over the last three months that they’ve gone back to the previous practice that led to the shutdown last year.
Ladipo market was shut down by the agency for four and a half weeks and Oyingbo Market was shut down for a week plus at a particular point in time. And the two markets almost have a similar practice that led to the shutting down of the market.
So I’ll give you an example. Ladipo market for the regular dwellers of the market, they will look at the entrance of the market, it’s extremely dirty simply because the waste bin that we provided for them, in some cases it’s been avoided. And people are dumping indiscriminately at the place of their trade.
And it is a requirement that every market sweeps their market before they close for as they go along throughout the day, when it’s decision where you have a market, there’s no market sweepers, they are not sweeping the market on a regular basis.
You can imagine what it comes to within a week or even a month, we’re talking about three months. So it looks like a place where people don’t live and we don’t want anything like an outbreak in Lagos.
Now we have monkey pox and everything around. So we need to try and do our best to avoid that. Also for the canals and villages that are near those markets, we clear them last year. And I know the Office of Vending Services from the issue of environment, I’m going to clear the one behind Ladipo market specific. And the last time we visited this location, we’ve seen that some of the dwellers have gone back to put refuse in there.
So the requirement for them is to actually avoid the shutting down of the market by this Thursday, it is tomorrow, it’s for them by close of day today. By midnight today, all the canals that they blocked should be cleared, all the drainages should also be cleared. And you mentioned at the beginning that we have these private sector participants that help us in the clearance of those markets in a place where a private company has created a market for one year, six months. And they are owed, they are owed money. They are owed money for their services for one year, for six months. And every time they go to the market or the agency try to meet between them is always one excuse or the other. So you don’t expect such a thing to be left without being attended to. So for us, it’s very important that we keep all our PSPS afloat.
They are the ones that have kept the flag flying over the last 30 years. We will not tolerate the situation whereby now that we have these at, they’ve been working without pay for six months, one year, there’s no way they’ll be sustainable and we don’t want to have legal issues.
So I’ve spoken to all the market executives, I spoken to the local government chairman involved, we spoke to the Ministry of Local Government Affairs, everybody we spoke to they all apologise, they all intercepted in there, they’ve meditated and they filed some actions. I noticed during my tour around those two markets yesterday some changes they are making.
But it’s not about making a change to avoid the shutdown, it’s about putting the sustainable posers in place. Thank you. Yes.
For us, we look at shutting down their markets. That’s the last option, the last response. We tried everything. Imagine when you’re trying to mediate, you’re trying to talk to someone to change their practice, change their ways on a weekly basis for the last six months. And the same action is still being repeated, whereas the vendors and Local Government Authority are going on a daily basis to evacuate.
For example, if you drive past the market on a regular basis, you will see that there are shops that are built in our market. Why are they not behind their fence? Why are they not in those shops? Why not? You trade on the main road and you’re hanging on the main road. You’re trading there. You’re cutting your vegetables. At the end of the day, you leave those vegetables there. We have sweepers there, that sweep that area for 17 hours a day. It’s not easy to sweep, but if they change their practice, these people will come, they will do what they need to do, and then they can prepare the next day easily.
Declare the market with the beam. Four times a day we lift that beam. But anyway, anytime you go past it, it looks as if it’s never been lifted. Because they have energy. Bin that we give them inside, they will not use it. Everybody choose to just use one and they will leave it for Romans. Come and sweep as they are sitting down. We will sweep where they are. As they are sitting down. We put in the bin ourselves, come back again and do the same process four times. How long can that continue? How long do we need to do the right thing?
Market is there for them to make a sustainable living for themselves, to help the economy and boost things, not for us to create a situation whereby we’re going to be calling you an outbreak.
Because what that simply means is in times that we have short challenges, there will be precautions for the goods to those two markets. And we’re not just talking to those two markets. The other markets that we started warning to you as well. Like the usual market, like a tango market, we could do markets. We have over 450 markets in Lagos. But the real thing is everybody should do what they need to do.
The Ladipo market. Like I said in our publication, when we shut this market down, they will be shut indefinitely until they’ve given all the points that we’ve given them. Each of these markets have a list of actions that they expected to take, which was given to them last Thursday. Which was given to them before Thursday. So seven days ultimatum to correct it. So it’s like a tickbox exercise for them. And they are all attitude, very smart, timely, achievable.
So they need to ensure that everything is done, we’re not harsh on any market, right? And any market we go to will give them a set checklist of what they need to do, which is their regular thing anyway, that they’ve been ignoring.
When we talk about sustainability for this market in terms of the grid, Ford plant is for them to ensure that the lay down steps agree between themselves and the agency is made so simple, or even the new entrance or new traders are just entering the market to add to you. So last Saturday was World clean up day. And I know some NGOs that are really concerned about the intention to shut these two markets approached us and they’ve been part of what we’ve been talking about in terms of avoiding the shutting of the market.
So they’ve helped them in cleaning up, they sat down with them to sensitize the game. They also look at their daily routine, also look at their routine on a regular basis. And each of these markets have environmental Management team, committee. To be honest, they do have them. And we have a market coordinator that goes to those two markets that we speak specifically on a daily basis to interact with them. And the local government have market masters that actually visit those markets consistently nothing less than five times a week on a regular basis.
We have health officers that work with them on a daily basis attached to us on the issue of environment as well. It’s not that they don’t have the right amount of education or sansitization or awareness on what they need to do. What we discovered during a conversation with each of the groups independently. When they look at government chairman from which you look at government presence for Ladipo and also for Mainland present when we’re talking to them it tends to be what we call collective responsibility is what the problem is individual responsibility seems to understand but when it becomes a collective responsibility who’s going to do it my shop have a coalition among themselves to get this thing done and what we’ve done now is we actually look at their smart plans and allocated responsibility to each of the groups that they have there are things that paying the bill is the most you have to pay your bill for the payment that person should pay the bill on a monthly basis to the PSP pay the bill so that they can get them to come and service you on a regular basis is avoided is to ensure that on Thursdays when they do market that’s migrating to all markets that they are carrying their genes that are surrounding them and the environment where they stay so those kind of things is what we’ve all agreed to now to help with the sustainability and then the market master on the local government will supervise them and ensure that the right thing is being done apart from what the domain is regulating as well so that we can continue to avoid 49 markets across the state we’ve done this before in the market like Daleko when it was shut last year for a week and within that week the markets traders.
The association activists stepped in and we reminded everything today you can go to Daleko market in the evening as early as possible even in the evening and you see the market is in tiptop condition. Very clean. Very organized. The night traders know where to put their waste they know they have to see before they leave. The day traders understand that before you go all your employees need to move their way to where the business and that’s what we expect in LAWMA. That’s what we expect for everybody right and just for clarity’s sake even though you have indeed said a lot about the issue of the market closure so is they’re not going back at all on these two markets that will be shut down as from tomorrow.