Legal Nigeria

Sanitise your markets or we shut them – Lagos warns market leaders

The Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab gave this warning on Thursday at the Lagos East Senatorial District Stakeholders’ meeting organized by the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC), held at the Kosofe Local Government, Ogudu, Lagos.

Wahab, who was represented by a director in the ministry, Mrs Ilori Temitope said “Our market leaders, it is important to note that our markets must wear a clean, hygienic look as it is important for vendor and customer safety.

“We are constantly watching and when it is discovered otherwise, we will close the markets till the needful becomes a culture,” he warned.

The commissioner emphasized that constant community engagement and stakeholders’ consultation remained a catalyst for voluntary compliance with regards to environmental infractions and adherence to environmental sanitation laws in the State.

Wahab stated that when he assumed duty as Commissioner, the governor handed him a task to ensure that Lagos did not sink into environmental illegality and recklessness.

“You will recall the buzz we generated by our enforcement against buildings erected on drainages and canals around Lekki and other areas of the State. This is a validation on our part that regardless of tribe, ethnicity or religion, the law must take its course.

Sanitise your markets or we shut them – Lagos warns market leaders
Some LAGESC officers at the event

“Equally, I gave marching orders to agencies like LASEPA, LAWMA and others to step up enforcement against noise pollution through the closure of erring establishments and indiscriminate dumping of refuse by residents of the State,” he said.

He sued for increased collaboration of the environmental sanitation officers at the local government levels to identify more infractions at the grassroots and ensure that rectifications were made according to the State’s Environmental Sanitation Laws.

Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Dr. Gaji Tajudeen, charged Local Governments in the State not to give room for touts and unauthorised personnel to establish illegal markets which contribute to littering the environment.

Tajudeen, whose speech was read by Mrs Ilori Temitope, said the constitution of designated markets in the State falls under the purview of Local Government Councils.

“In this vein, we implore our councils to be partners in progress and not give room for touts and unauthorised personnel to establish illegal markets which contribute largely to litter occupying our roads and ending up blocking the drainages and canals.

“Also, most importantly, is to enjoin the State Market Board under the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to spread the gospel to our markets on the need to keep the designated market environs clean, patronise approved LAWMA-PSP operators and not encroach on roads,” Gaji said.

The Corps Marshal, LAGESC, CP Akinpelu Gbemisola (Rtd), in her opening address, emphasised the importance of environmental sanitation and the indispensable role of communities.

Akinpelu, who was represented by the Deputy Corps Marshal, Intelligence, Ganiyu Salami, “As we strive for a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable Lagos, it is essential to recognise that the responsibility lies not only with government agencies but also with every one of us seated here today.

“Our communities are the heart and soul of Lagos. They are the places we call home, where our families grow, and where we forge lasting connections. It is within these communities that the power to make a difference truly resides,” she said.

A cross section of stakeholders at the event

According to Akinpelu, by actively engaging in environmental sanitation practices, Lagosians could create a ripple effect that would transform the neighbourhoods and ultimately the entire city.

She added that simple acts like proper waste disposal, recycling, and regular cleaning of the surroundings could go a long way in preventing the spread of diseases, reducing pollution, and preserving natural