LAWMA to Shut Down Businesses Violating Environmental Laws
By Yemi Olakitan, Rashidat Oladele
The Lagos State Government has warned that it will shut down more businesses and markets violating the state environmental laws.
This followed the sealing of the Oyingbo and Alayabiagba Markets in the Lagos Mainland, said to have committed environmental offences by the Lagos Waste Management Agency (LAWMA), on Monday.
Those that risk shut down according to LAWMA include; Tejuosho Model Market Phase 1, Ladipo Market in Mushin, Anjorin Market, Irewolede Plank Market, Idi-Araba Obele Market, Oni Baba Market, Oba Morufu International Market, formerly known Ijora 7UP Market, Okeafa Plank Market, Ifelodun Fruit Market, Amukoko, among others.
Managing Director of LAWMA, Muyiwa Gbadegesin, in a statement by the Director, Public Affairs, Kadiri Folashade, said the action followed a series of unheeded warnings to markets in Lagos to shun filth and embrace proper environmental hygiene.
Gbadegesin said the Authority’s decision to shut down the markets was arrived at, after noncompliance with the state’s Environmental Protection Laws, which emphasized zero tolerance for environmental offences.
He cautioned that other markets engaging in irresponsible waste disposal and other environmental violations would face similar harsh consequences if they refused to turn a new leaf, adding that the executive members of such markets would also be held accountable.
The LAWMA boss called for support from the markets and its executives, by following stipulated waste management guidelines for a cleaner and healthier environment for all.
“It is imperative that we hold businesses accountable for their environmental responsibilities. This enforcement action by LAWMA aims to promote a culture of compliance and create a more livable city for all residents. I also want to emphasize that once a market is closed, it would meet all requirements before being reopened for business”, he said.
“LAWMA has continued to work tirelessly to enhance the environment throughout the state, especially in commercial establishments, by implementing a number of measures intended to keep the city clean. However, certain people and markets are actively undermining our efforts by disobeying the rules and laws. Such people, dealers, and marketplaces shall be dealt with by the law as necessary.” he added.
Gbadegesin warned that if other markets didn’t change their ways and continued to engage in reckless trash dumping and other environmental crimes, they would suffer the same harsh repercussions.
He further said that the executive members of such markets would also be held liable.
“We must hold companies accountable for their environmental obligations, he argued. The goal of LAWMA’s enforcement activity is to encourage a compliance culture and make the city more livable for all citizens. Additionally, I want to emphasise that after a market closes, it must adhere to all regulations before reopening.” he said.
In a related event, the head of LAWMA has made suggestions on plans to remove unlawful market buildings that have sprung up all around the city.
These include the Fiki Marina fruit market, the Victoria Island market by the Abraham Adesanya roundabout in Ajah, the Jakande market by the Jakande bus stop, the traders opposite the Oniru Market in Oniru, and the New Road Market by the New Road Bus-stop, all of which, in his opinion, were impeding urban planning efforts and posing safety hazards.
Dr. Gbadegesin reiterated: “Important to the development and planning of cities is the elimination of illicit market structures. It enables correct space allocation and zoning, resulting in a more orderly and visually beautiful cityscape.
He also said that in order to make these initiatives successful, the Authority was looking to work with market associations, local governments, and other relevant stakeholders.
He added that the agency would offer advice and support to markets as they established effective waste management systems that complied with established regulations.
Adding that with residents’ cooperation and the Authority’s concerted efforts, the state would experience a significant improvement in waste management, leading to a cleaner and healthier environment for all, he urged markets in the state to support the Authority’s efforts by adhering to prescribed waste management guidelines.