The Lagos State Government, on Friday, announced the immediate closure of Mile 12 International and Owode Onirin markets.
According to a statement signed by the Director of Public Affairs, Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, Kunle Adeshina, the markets were sealed for filth and various environmental infractions.
He stated that the markets were closed in a joint operation carried out by enforcement officers from the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and Lagos Environmental Sanitation Corps (KAI) on the directives of the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab.
Speaking on the operation, Wahab insisted on zero tolerance for filth in all markets in the state.
He underscored the importance of stringent sanitation measures in Lagos markets, noting that cleanliness and adherence to environmental regulations were essential for a healthy city.
He said, “Recent events at Mile 12 and Owode Onirin markets have brought to light the pressing need for strict adherence to sanitation standards in our markets. The closure, though a difficult decision, is a necessary step to address the prevailing environmental challenges and to ensure the safety and well-being of all stakeholders.
“The closure of Mile 12 and Owode Onirin markets will enable the stakeholders to assess the situation and improve public health and environmental sanity around those axes. Conditions in the markets have deteriorated to a point where immediate intervention became inevitable”.
The Commissioner emphasised that the enforcement action was not an isolated event, but part of a broader strategy to instil a culture of cleanliness and compliance with environmental regulations across the board for markets within the state.
He urged traders and customers to prioritise hygiene and sustainable practices in their daily business activities.
He further hinted that safety audit personnel would be deployed to the market, to assess the situation, before any consideration for reopening, warning other markets to toe the line of cleanliness and environmental hygiene, to avoid severe sanctions.
On his part, the Managing Director/CEO of LAWMA, Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, noted that the markets were closed for very severe unhygienic conditions and a litany of environmental infractions, adding that the closure was necessary, to protect the health of the public and to ensure it was properly cleaned up and sanitised.
The LAWMA boss stated that the Lagos State Government would not relent in enforcing sanitation and environmental regulations, especially around business facilities, urging markets in the state to support the government’s efforts, by complying with laws and regulations, aimed at making the city cleaner and liveable for all.