Photo: Daily Champion

Hygiene: Lagos warns market leaders, declares zero tolerance for dirtiness

*The Lagos State Government at a forum warns market leaders across the state to not jeopardise the administration’s effort at averting flood disaster with damaging consequences on the lives of consumers

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

The Lagos State Government (LASG) has stressed the importance of hygiene, market sanitation and security of consumers, especially in view of the increasing population and waste generation in the commercial hub of Nigeria, fondly called the Centre of Excellence.

ConsumerConnect reports the Lagos Government, which stated this at a forum at the weekend also warned market leaders across the state to not jeopardise the administration’s effort at averting flooding.

The government issued the warning to the leaders at a seminar organised by the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), in Agege, in collaboration with the Lagos State Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs.

A food market in Lagos

It said that any market found to be involved in indiscriminate dumping of waste to block drainages will be shut down, said the LASG.

Dr. Wale Ahmed, Honourable Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, and Mr. Tunji Bello, Honourable Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, represented by Mr. Belinda Odeneye, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, tasked market women and men on proper hygiene.

The Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, in his welcome address on the occasion, said the need to revisit the issue of market sanitation and security has become imperative, considering the increase in population and waste generation in the state.

Dr. Ahmed stated: “The benefits and advantages of sanitation in our markets cannot be exhausted, considering the fact that we have three-hundred and eighty-two registered markets in Lagos State.

“Drawing from the untoward incidents occurring everywhere, it will not be out of place, that vigilance and intelligence gathering should form part of our primary responsibility. “This will help us to be proactive, and be steps ahead of anyone or groups, planning to disturb the peace of the State.”

In her keynote address, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, Chairperson of COWLSO and wife of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, also harped on hygiene and cleanliness in the market place.

Dr. Sanwo-Olu maintained that the two habits would engender a healthy environment in the state.

She noted that health and environment are intertwined, and this underscores the reason why the issue of sanitation must be given the seriousness it truly and genuinely deserve to secure the health of consumers across the state.

It is a statement of fact that there is a nexus between the state of environment of a particular geographical location and the wellbeing of the people in such area, the wife of Lagos Governor stated.

Sanwo-Olu further intoned: “We know that a lot of waste is generated from our markets and as market leaders, it is important that we seize this opportunity to appeal to our market men and women to do away with unhygienic practices, including indiscriminate dumping of waste, blocking of drainages and street trading, among others.

“The truth of the matter is that it is in our collective interest to imbibe international best practices in administering markets and protect our environment.”

According to her, the issue of hygiene and cleanliness in markets is paramount, and that every necessary step must be taken by all stakeholders to inspire healthy and secure marketplace.

“Also, we have intentionally included security and safety of our markets as part of the topics at this seminar.

“First of all, security is everybody’s business and as market men and women and community leaders, we must be conscious of the need to make our security a priority. When we see something, we must say something!

“Security in the market place is paramount and there must be proper identification of all traders and people trading in the market.

“The Monitoring and Evaluation of security activities in the market must be a daily affair and also in every community,” she added.

Likewise, Chief (Mrs.) Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, Iyaloja-General and Chairman of LASMAC, urged market leaders to insist on sanity in their markets by ensuring that market men and women are not allowed to extend their wares and produce beyond the allotted perimeters.

The Iyaloja-General acknowledged that most markets are complicit of the act of placing their wares on pathways allotted for pedestrians in Lagos State.

This practice does not only affect traffic, it also puts market men and women at risk of accidents, she said, while urging the market leaders not to allow these acts in their markets.

Mr. Ibrahim Odumboni, Managing Director of the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), in his address also assured market leaders and stakeholders, that the State Government has equipped the agency with all the resources needed to ensure markets in Lagos are clean.

Odumboni pledged the waste management regulatory agency would leave no stone unturned to ensure wastes in markets are promptly disposed.

Facilitators at the event which included Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, Commissioner of Police, represented by ACP Ola Agboola; Director of Lagos State Fire Service, Mrs. Margaret Adeseye, and others urged market leaders to ensure sanitation and security are prioritised in our markets until our markets become a model for markets in Nigeria and in Africa at large.

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