Lagos commissions new Oyingbo market 24 years after demolition
• To allocate shops to 618 original occupants
LAGOS State government on Sunday commissioned the new ultra-modern Oyingbo market complex, 24 years after it was demolished for reconstruction.
The new four-floor massive complex is sitting on a 544 sq metre, and estimated to have been built at the cost of N1billion. Besides the 150-car capacity parking lot on the ground floor, the complex has 622 open shops; 102 lockup shops; 48 number of open offices, 134 toilets and six exit gates.
Handing over the market on Sunday, the state governor, Babatunde Fashola, congratulated the original occupants of the old Oyingbo market that are still alive to witness the day, when many would have given up hope.
He recalled with nostalgia how important the Oyingbo market was to Lagos and Nigeria in yesteryears and what it was couple of decades ago, citing that even his mother used to be one of the traders at the market.
History recounts that the market dated back to the 1920s. It was then a depot for agricultural produce. Development around Ebute-Metta, Oyingbo and the Lagos Mainland had impacted on the market, making it grow bigger not only in size but also in the goods available within the market.
In the 1930s, traders around Apapa road were moved to the current location to further boost the size of the market and expand the array of available goods to include meat and livestock. As a major commercial centre, it attracted patronage from far and near across Nigeria.
There was a major attempt to give the Oyingbo market a new lease of life in November 1991 under the administration of Engr. Sulaiman Larinde, the then Chairman of Lagos Island Local Government. The old market was demolished, paving the way for the official ground breaking and a fund-raising under the Chairmanship of Bashorun Moshood Abiola. The rebuilding plan however dragged on till 2007, when Fashola administration stepped in.
Fashola recalled that the new market was one of his campaign promises in 2007. According to him, “I held my promise in high esteem. And I’m here to hand over the market in fulfillment of my promise. Our democracy will make progress so long as you vote for the party that will make promise to you and keep to them.
“New Oyingbo market is one of my promises and it is here today and more modern than what used to be here before. I was not too young to know the old Oyingbo market because my mother used to sell aluminum pans somewhere around here.”
New Oyingbo market is one of my promises and it is here today and more modern than what used to be here before. I was not too young to know the old Oyingbo market because my mother used to sell aluminum pans somewhere around here.
While he pleaded with the users to be mindful of cleanliness in the complex, he gave the assurance that 618 original occupants would be allocated into the shops.
“We hope that they will all leave the roadside and come into the market, so as to free up the road for free-flow of traffic.”
The Fashola administration awarded the construction of the market to Messrs ELCON Properties Nigeria limited in 2007, but was later given to Messrs Palmyra Construction Nigeria Limited in 2009. The latter completed it in 60 weeks.
Other features in the complex include an industrial borehole, water treatment plant, fire protection, air cooling system, air cooling system, cold room, refuse chute, sewage treatment plant, ground and overhead water tanks, 100 KVA transformers, 1250KVA generators (two) and a 100KVA, fire alarm system/smoke detector.
Iyaloja of Oyingbo and the Mainland, Basirat Balogun, was indeed grateful to the governor for his exceptional performance, one of which is the “new, befitting market.”
Balogun described the market as the biggest and most populous in West Africa, citing several musicians that had made references to its popularity in their lyrics.
She added said such market would need a proper site, where over seventy classes of commodities would be on display. Balogun also appealed to the governor to assist them in eradicating poverty and insecurity in the area and environs.
Executive Secretary of Lagos Mainland Local Government, Omolola Essien, said the governor has again shown that real governance can be brought to the footstep of the masses.
Essien said the market would greatly improve commercial activities in the area, avert waste of time as a one-stop shop for all commodities.
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