Lamentations abound as traders at the well-known Ladipo International auto spare parts market, Mushin, struggle to make ends meet after the market’s four-day closure. Yesterday.
Tokunbo Wahab, the Lagos State Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, had ordered the market’s closure on Friday, September 29, due to environmental violations including careless trash disposal, unsanitary premises, and non-payment of garbage fees, among others.
He said that it was part of continuous efforts to enforce compliance in marketplaces around the state. He said the market would be closed until the conditions for reopening were satisfied by traders and market players.
When The Guardian visited the market yesterday, traders who claimed they could not stay at home while the market was locked were seen in clusters, while some were smuggling motor parts to customers waiting outside the gate, after tipping officials.
A trader in the market, Peter Eze, said: “The closure is affecting us since the government locked our market.
“I lose N300, 000 every day. I am calling on the state government to look into our plight and open the market. We have families to feed; bills to pay and we can’t do much when the market remains locked.”
Another trader, who does not want his name mentioned, said: “The closure is affecting me. I am standing under the sun by this time and doing nothing, which is not supposed to be so. I know our leaders are working on the market to be re-opened.
“I lose not less than N1 million each day the market is closed, but we are hopeful that it will be resolved.”
Nnewi North Records 100% Successful Sanitation Exercise
When contacted, President General, Ladipo Auto Spare Parts Market, Jude Nwankwo, said they are trying to meet up with the government’s demands and keep the environment clean as well as the canal within the market.
“We are also trying to meet up with the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) bill. We are hoping that the market will be reopened before the end of this week.”
On why the market leadership failed to comply after the government complained about environmental infraction last year, he said: “This is a big market and it’s very difficult to control the people. But we are trying to meet up. Part of the blame is also at the doorstep of the Lagos State government. Some of our people are not paying bills because LAWMA is not picking up their wastes, and they are using their money to evacuate the refuse.
“We have written severally to the government, but they only promise to do something, but they never did.
“There is no way I will send the market task force to close down any shop over non-compliance when the government is not doing its part.”
MEANWHILE, traders and market leaders at the popular Alayabiagba International Modern Market situated at the boundary Ajegunle Ajeromi/Ifelodun Local Council of Lagos State have commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the state Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Wahab Tokunbo for reopening the market after meeting sanitation requirements.
The traders led by Babaloja General for Ajeromi markets, Alhaji Lateef Ibrahim Nda said the issue of cleanliness and sanitation will be given priority in the market.
Nda, who also expressed gratitude to Prince Rabiu Oluwa and the Ajeromi/Ifelodun Federal lawmaker, Kalejaye Adeboye Paul, said they have collectively realised that the government is not victimising them with the closure, but for their own good.
He said the leadership of the market constantly ensures cleanliness of its environment by embarking on constant environmental sanitation every Thursday to ensure that the market meets up with the standard of other modern markets, but will add more extra days for cleanliness.
According to him, apart from the weekly sanitation, there will also be daily and monthly sanitation henceforth.
Also, the Iyaloja General for Ajeromi and Iyaloja for Alayabiagba, Alhaja Titilayo Agoro and Alhaja Jemilat Adeyemi, respectively appreciated Tokunbo for personally coming to open the market, which they said is a place where many feeds from and earn their daily bread, especially widows.
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