Business activities at Oyingbo Market, Lagos State, have been put on hold by the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), for sundry environmental infractions including indiscriminate refuse dumping, refusal to patronize PSP operators, roadside trading and poor hygienic practices, resulting in serious environmental problem in the area.
LAWMA said an abatement notice and several warnings issued to the traders yielded no result, necessitating the closure, adding that the market would be reopened when traders began to comply with government’s rules and regulations by shunning indiscriminate refuse disposal and patronizing assigned PSP operators.
The agency appealed to other markets in the state to imbibe the culture of effective waste disposal, warning that markets whose activities were found detrimental to the health and environmental wellbeing of the populace would be shut down till further notice.
Speaking on the development, the managing director of the agency, Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, noted that efforts of the state government to enthrone sustainable environment was being undermined by some individuals, who would rather dump refuse on unauthorized locations, hence the need for total enforcement.
He warned that the grace period for environmental defaulters in the state had expired, as the agency had begun total enforcement against all forms of illegal and reckless waste disposal, capable of degrading the environment and posing health hazards to residents.
He said, “The act of indiscriminate refuse disposal in the city poses grave danger to public health and economic growth. Before now we adopted moral suasion as a tool to persuade residents to shun indiscriminate dumping. In spite of our efforts, some people have bluntly refused to turn a new leaf. Now we have commenced total enforcement to put defaulters in check”.
The LAWMA boss noted that the Enforcement Unit of the agency had been mandated to work round the clock, to clamp down on all environmental infractions capable of derailing efforts of the Authority towards environmental sustainability in the state.
He stated that section 115 (4) and 116 part IV, Environmental Sanitation Nuisances and Litters, as well as Section 81, Part III, Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) of Environmental Management and Protection Law 2017 prohibits dumping of waste at undesignated places, which attracts specified sanctions.
He stated further that the agency recently published a public notice on major national dailies, stating various environmental offences and appropriate sanctions to defaulters.
“The state’s laws are quite clear on the prohibition of illegal refuse disposal. It shows zero tolerance for environmental infractions and violators would be duly sanctioned to serve as deterrent to other residents,” he said.
Gbadegesin called on residents to support efforts of the state government to establish a cleaner and healthier environment in Lagos by ensuring they bagged and containerized their wastes appropriately, as well as patronizing assigned PSP operators.
He said further that LAWMA would continue the distribution of waste disposal bags under its Blue Box Initiative, for residents to sort their waste and dispose appropriately, adding that residents should promptly contact the Authority using the toll-free line 07080601020, for complaints and relevant information.