The Lagos State Government has renewed the call on market men and women to join hands with it in averting flooding by giving priority to sanitation, security and safety in the various markets and trading points across the State.
This was the talking point at a one-day seminar organised by the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials, COWLSO, in Agege in collaboration with the State’s Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs.
Noting that health and environment are interrelated, the wife of the Governor and Chairperson of COWLSO, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu explained that the seminar, which is the 3rd in the series was part of efforts to improve the welfare and wellbeing of market men and women by the Sanwo-Olu administration and urged the stakeholders to cooperate with government to achieve the set targets.
“We know that a lot of waste is generated from our markets and as market leaders, it is important that we seize this opportunity to appeal to our market men and women to do away with unhygienic practices including indiscriminate dumping of waste, blocking of drainages and street trading, among others.
“The truth of the matter is that it is in our collective interest to imbibe international best practices in administering markets and protect our environment,” she said
Dr Sanwo-Olu also appealed to the stakeholders to be security conscious at all times, monitor, evaluate and report unusual activities in the markets to the relevant authorities.
“Also, we have intentionally included security and safety of our markets as part of the topics at this seminar. First of all, security is everybody’s business and as market men and women and community leaders, we must be conscious of the need to make our security a priority. When we see something, we must say something!
In an address of welcome, the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Dr. Wale Ahmed explained that it was imperative to revisit the issue of Market Sanitation and Security considering the increase in population and waste generation in the State.
Dr Ahmed also stressed the need for vigilance and intelligence gathering around the marketplace to protect lives and property.
“The benefits and advantages of sanitation in our markets cannot be exhausted, considering the fact that we have three hundred and eighty-two registered markets in Lagos State.
“Drawing from the untoward incidents occurring everywhere, it will not be out of place, that vigilance and intelligence gathering should form part of our primary responsibility. This will help us to be proactive, and be steps ahead of anyone or groups, planning to disturb the peace of the State,” he said.
Presentations were made by resource persons on different topics from market sanitation, to the role of market leaders in security and safety in community policing, fire prevention in markets, information management as a security tool in Lagos open markets among others.
In a chat with Radio Nigeria, Chairman/President-General Lagos State Market Advisory Council, Mrs Folashade Tinubu Ojo, who commended COWLSO and the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs for the Seminar stated that its impact is already evident in many markets across the State.
Also in attendance at the event were the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotosho, his counterpart from the Ministry of Environment who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Belinda Odeneye, General Manager LAWMA, Mr Ibrahim Odumboni, Local government Chairmen in the Ikeja Division and traditional rulers in the Agege area