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Plight of Mile 12 International Market: Residents Cry for Reopening

The recent closure of Mile 12 International Market by the Lagos State Ministry of Environment through the Lagos State Waste Management Authority has raised concerns and generated various negative impacts on the residents of the community and its environs. The timing of this closure is particularly critical as many households in Lagos State and Nigeria at large are still grappling with economic challenges caused by the removal of fuel subsidy.

Mile 12 International Market, often regarded as the best perishable food market in Sub-Saharan Africa, has a commendable track record of maintaining a clean environment. This achievement can be attributed to various innovative practices and infrastructural developments introduced since the beginning of the administration of the market's Chairman, Alhaji Shehu Usman.

The market has set high standards for perishable food markets and continually improved its facilities and hygiene practices. While it is essential for the government to ensure that all markets maintain cleanliness and hygiene, the closure of Mile 12 Market appears to be a severe measure for addressing any infractions, which might be the result of human errors.

In light of the significance of Mile 12 International Market to the survival of many households and its role in the economy, it is imperative to appeal to the state government to consider reopening the market. The closure, without a doubt, has placed operators, traders, and households in a precarious economic situation. This action threatens to exacerbate the hardships faced by the citizens amidst the ongoing economic challenges resulting from the fuel subsidy removal. 

An interview with an anonymous trader in the market reveals the market's commitment to maintaining cleanliness. Since the beginning of Chairman Alhaji Shehu Usman's administration, the market has instituted a robust team of over 200 youths responsible for daily cleaning operations. Additionally, the market conducts intensive cleaning every Thursday of the week and on the last day of each month.

The market's executive committee is stringent in its commitment to sanitation, not only because it is Nigeria's largest perishable food hub but also because it deals mainly with consumables. The focus on cleanliness is driven by the concern for the health of the community residents, including all market executives and their relatives.

To further ensure the cleanliness of the market, two refuse bins are permanently stationed at strategic locations beside market gate 4. These bins make it convenient for traders and shoppers to dispose of their waste, ensuring the efficient collection by the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA).

We appeal to the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, to consider the economic impact of the market's closure, especially during a time when many households are facing challenges due to the removal of the fuel subsidy. The reopening of Mile 12 International Market would not only alleviate the suffering of its operators and traders but also contribute to the economic well-being of countless families and residents.

In conclusion, while recognizing the government's responsibility to ensure clean and hygienic markets, it is crucial to strike a balance between enforcing regulations and supporting the livelihoods of the people. Mile 12 International Market has demonstrated its commitment to maintaining high standards of cleanliness, and any infractions should be addressed with a focus on correction rather than complete closure.

®Lagos Community News Review

14th Of October, 2023


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