By Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos

Lagos State Government has read the riot act to market operators across the state over violation of environmental protection law, with emphasis on punishment for anyone caught breaching the process.

The warning was served by the government through the Managing Director of the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Mr Ibrahim Odumboni at a day seminar organised by the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) in collaboration with the State Ministry for Local Government and Community Affairs, for market leaders in Badagry Division.

He disclosed that so far, over 80 persons have been arrested and convicted for breaching environmental protection laws in the state.

Odumboni, however, condemned the attack on the agency’s officials at Agboju Market, which led to the death of one of its personnel.

The wife of the governor of the state, Dr (Mrs) Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, at the event, also charged market leaders in the state, to ensure proper sanitation and security of the markets.

The seminar, the fourth in the series, is part of efforts to put the welfare, safety and security of market men and women, on the front burner.

The governor’s wife who was represented at the occasion by the wife of the deputy governor, Olurremi Hamzat said, it was common knowledge that health and environment had been listed as the second pillar of the administration’s THEMES agenda for a sustainable environment.

According to her, ‘security in the marketplace is paramount and that there must be proper identification of all traders and people trading in the markets. As market men and women, you must take ownership of security in your markets, and you have to speak up and speak out loud and clear when you suspect any suspicious movement or activity around you, especially the issue of strangers coming to sleep overnight in the market.’

In his address, the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Dr Wale Ahmed, expressed gratitude for the peaceful co-existence in markets in the state, which has ensured smooth business flow and improved the economic well-being of citizens.

He urged market leaders and stakeholders to continuously commit themselves to ensure that the state enjoyed continued vigilance by market people, promptly report suspicious acts and movements to the appropriate authorities.

In his own remarks, the commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, represented by the permanent secretary Office of Environmental Services, Mrs Belinda Odeneye, harped on the need for market people to always use the double dino bins, for proper disposal of their waste.

He urged residents to imbibe the culture of waste sorting at source, for recycling of all recyclable materials, for income earning and for environmental sustainability.

The Lagos State commissioner of police, Mr Hakeem Odumosu, represented by the district police officer for Idimu Police Station, CSP (Mrs) Gladys Yomi-Faniyi, stressed the importance of vigilance to security in markets, adding that security was everybody’s business and must be prioritised.

Also in attendance were the chairman of Iba LCDA, Hon Yisa Abiola; royal fathers; Oniba Ekun of Iba, HRM Oba (Dr) Sulaiman Adesina Ashade, Elegbeda of Egbeda, HRM, Oba Ahmed Orelope Laka; Resource persons; COWLSO members, baales and members of the CDAs/CDCs, among others.

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Source: news