BY ETOP EKANEM
LAGOS — Traders in Ladipo International Market have described as untrue suggestions that the market is unclean, even as they called on the Lagos State Government to shelve its planned closure of the market because of environmental issues.
President of the Ladipo Auto Central Executive Council (LACEC), Mr. Iyke Animalu who led traders on the weekly clean-up exercise, Thursday, in the market noted that officials of the state ‘s Ministry of the Environment had visited the market sometime ago and threatened to shut it down due to uncleanness.
He lamented, that as much as traders in the market tried their best to keep the place hygienic, they had problems with disposal of waste as nowhere has been allocated to them to dispose refuse.
Animalu also said the canal which passes through the market collects dirt and wastes from differentlocations, adding that traders in the market were not responsible for the accumulated dirts in it.
He said that has not even stopped them from cleaning the canal, every Tuesday and last Fridays of the month, in a bid to keep their environment neat.
While saying efforts to have the Lagos Waste Management Agency (LAWMA) to allocate a space for dumping and evacuation of refuse from the Ladipo market have proved abortive, he called on traders in the market to ensure that their immediate environments were always kept clean.
Animalu said they were ready to ready to cooperate with the state’s Ministry of the Environment and other relevant agencies in ensuring the market is kept clean, noting that they are very aware of the passion of the state government on environmental issues.
According to him, the rowdiness experienced in the market was not caused by the traders, but operators of the park and pay arrangement who usually park vehicles on both sides of the road, causing traffic obstruction.
He also lamented that shops have been built upon areas which were initially allocated for parking of vehicles, which has further compounded the issue, adding, that a task force has been set up to clear the roads.
He therefore called on the relevant agencies responsible for awarding the contract to have a rethink and proffer a better arrangement that will keep the roads free, adding, that the union has asked petty traders who usually traded by the roadsides, to quit.
During the cleanup, members of the LACEC executive were seen evacuating and destroying wooded stalls and tables used by the petty traders.
The president general of the amalgamated unions of the Ladipo Market called on detractors to stop peddling rumours that there are leadership problems in the market.
He reiterated that traders in the market are transacting their business peacefully, noting, that all 35 units in the market were united, with him as leader.
He therefore called on anyone parading themselves as leaders in the market to desist from it, and invest more efforts in developing the market.