Lagos to redesign markets to curb street trading
The Commissioner for The Environment, Dr Babatunde Adejare, made the assertion on the sidelines of the flag off of the “Kill Rats Make Money in Lagos’’ at the Obalende Market on Thursday.
The Kill Rats, Make More Money is a project is designed to rid the state of the vector that transmits Lassa fever as well as other vector-borne diseases.
Adejare told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the objective of redesigning of the various markets was to allow for segmentation.
He said it was imperative for the government to carry out the redesigning in an effort to discourage street trading in the state.
“We will redesign these markets to show what a market should look like. Before now, markets are divided into sectors which enable customers to know where to buy.
“Now, things have changed and markets are no more organised but their current state is confusing. We want to go back to the old structure when markets are more defined.
“We want the markets to be in segments according to what is sold in a particular section. The meat sellers will be in their section, while foodstuff sellers also have their chain of stores.
“When we have more organised markets, we will know who to approach and steps to be taken when meeting various leaders of the markets,’’ the commissioner said.
Adejare also said that the government would partner with the Local Government Councils (LGCs) and the Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in making sure the markets are organised.
“The state government will be working with LGCs and LCDAs to organise the markets into sectors. These markets need reorganisation for proper administration.
“The government will not tolerate street trading and we have not hid our disdain for it. When our markets are reorganised, we will have to know who to hold responsible for street trading.
“If after the reorganisation, for example, if we find a meat seller on our road, we will go after his union; the association will answer for his offence and the association in turn will sanction him.
“We have warned the various associations in the markets to caution their members against street trading and if any of their members is recalcitrant, such should be reported to the appropriate authority,’’ he said.
Adejare said that most of the markets were now complying with the clean environment initiative of the government, adding that government would not fail to sanction any infraction to its environmental laws.
“I will not agree that most of our markets are filthy because we now have a competition aimed at ensuring proper sanitation, and which is going on within the markets.
“We have also raised awareness in the markets through our various advocacy teams on the need to keep the markets clean. Markets should not be the place where we contact diseases.
“We have environmental laws; sometimes, we enforce the laws by sanctioning any erring market. The law is universal and covers everybody.
“When I visit the markets, I am not looking for the Certificate of Occupancy (Cof O), what I will be looking for is the environment, how safe they are for the people,’’ he said.
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