13th June, 2012
The Lagos State House of Assembly has intervened in the dispute between the traders at the Alaba International Market and the Ojo Local Government Area over revenue collected in the market by the Local Government.
Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji had set up an ad-hoc Committee led by the Chairman, House Committee on Local Administration and Chieftaincy Affairs, Moshood Olanrewaju Oshun, to look into the issue and report to the House after the market association representing the traders who sell electronics in the market petitioned the House over controversy resulting from revenue derivable from the market.
In the petition, the association claimed that the categorisation of markets in Lagos for ‘stallage collection’ is based on geographical location and not on name the name: ‘International’ given to the market by the traders.
According to the petitioners, the Local Government was indiscriminately imposing levies which includes fumigation of warehouses/parking stores to the tune of N150,000 on the traders also stressing that the council also collected tolls from importers on every container brought into the market.
The traders said: “It is regrettable that we generate over 60 per cent of internal revenue of the Local Government but have not benefited anything from them.”
On his part, Chairman of Ojo Local Government, Prince Yinka Duro, explained that the market, as one of the largest, falls under ‘Grade A’ which led to the payment of N6,500.
He alleged that the leadership of the traders closed down the market and instructed his colleagues not to respect the chairmanship of the Local Government.
Durosinmi explained that, “we are not dragging issues with the association but we have been collecting N6,500 which other sections are paying apart from the electronic section that refused to comply.”
Chairman of the ad-hoc Committee, Moshood Oshun, urged the two parties to maintain peace while assuring them that House would decide on the issue without fear or favour.
One of the members of the committee, Segun Olulade, appealed to the council Chairman to provide necessary infrastructural amenities in the market in order to bring back the cordial relationship among them.
The Committee therefore resolved to call all the heads of associations in the market and the council Chairman for another meeting to resolve the issue.
By Eromosele Ebhomele