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Sanwo-Olu cautions traders on indiscriminate waste disposal, others

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, has cautioned traders to desist from indiscriminately dumping their refuse at unapproved locations across the state, saying using waste to fill drainage and canals is unhygienic for the state.

Sanwo-Olu said that aside from been major causes of flash flooding often experienced after rainfall across the state, it could cause epidemic if allowed to remain at the locations without prompt removal.

She stated that since they generate the huge waste within the state, the traders should endeavour to bag their waste and engage the the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) to remove them daily.

According to her, a lot of waste was generated from the markets, urging the market men and women to do away with unhygienic practices, including indiscriminate dumping of waste, blocking of drainages, and street trading, among others.

Sanwo-Olu also instructed the market leaders to conduct census of their members and give each of them identification numbers in order to prevent intruders from disguising as traders.

She gave the charge during a one-day seminar on market sanitation and security for market leaders and stakeholders in the Badagry Division held yesterday at Iba local council secretariat.

The seminar was the fourth in the series put together by the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, as part of efforts to put the welfare, safety, and security of market men and women, on the front burner.

Sanwo-Olu who was represented by the wife of the deputy governor, Oluremi Hamzat, said it was common knowledge that health and environment had been listed as the second pillar of the administration’s THEMES agenda for a sustainable environment.

According to her, “Security in the marketplace is paramount and that there must be proper identification of all traders and people trading in the markets. As market men and women, you must take ownership of security in your markets, and you have to speak up and speak out loud and clear when you suspect any suspicious movement or activity around you, especially the issue of strangers coming to sleep overnight in the market”.

Speaking further, she said, a lot of waste was generated from the markets, urging the market men and women to do away with unhygienic practices, including indiscriminate dumping of waste, blocking of drainages, and street trading, among others.

In his address, the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Dr. Wale Ahmed, expressed gratitude for the peaceful co-existence in markets in the state, which has ensured smooth business flow and improved the economic well-being of citizens.

He urged market leaders and stakeholders to continuously commit themselves to ensure that the state enjoyed continued vigilance by market people, promptly report suspicious acts and movements to the appropriate authorities.

Ahmed said, “Lagos State under the leadership of Mr. Governor has been on top of the security situation in the state, however, continued vigilance and attention are still required. “I need to reiterate that the rains have not stopped and we must increase our efforts, at ensuring clean and healthy market environment, where they produce and wares can be trusted to have been kept in best hygienic conditions. You must bag your waste properly and ensure it is disposed of in the containers provided by LAWMA,”.

The managing director/CEO of Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Mr. Ibrahim Odumboni, who did a detailed presentation on waste management in Lagos markets, stressed that market environments around the state must be kept constantly clean, to ensure that the quality of products and other items were not compromised.

He urged market leaders to cooperate with LAWMA for efficient waste management, urging them to avoid breaching environmental laws, to avoid market closure and possible litigation.

Odumboni said, ‘I am appealing to all the markets, please dispose of your waste properly, do not mess up the market environment, as we will not hesitate to shut down filthy markets and follow up with prosecution of apprehended culprits. Lagos State has dedicated many magistrate’s courts, to enable LAWMA to prosecute environmental offenders. To be forewarned is to before armed.

In his own remarks, the commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, represented by the permanent secretary Office of Environmental Services, Mrs. Belinda Odeneye, harped on the need for market people to always use the double dino bins, for proper disposal of their waste.

He urged residents to imbibe the culture of waste sorting at the source, for recycling of all recyclable materials, for income-earning, and for environmental sustainability.

The Lagos State commissioner of police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, represented by the district police officer for Idimu Police Station, CSP Gladys Yomi-Faniyi, stressed the importance of vigilance to security in markets, adding that security was everybody’s business and must be prioritised.

Also in attendance were the chairman of Iba LCDA, Hon. Yisa Abiola; royal fathers; Oniba Ekun of Iba, HRM Oba (Dr.) Sulaiman Adesina Ashade, Elegbeda of Egbeda, HRM, Oba Ahmed Orelope Laka; Resource persons; COWLSO members, baales, and members of the CDAs/CDCs, among others.

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