Lagos markets lack basic amenities, in deplorable state

food market

FILE PHOTO: Food market.

By News Agency of Nigeria

Some markets in Lagos State, Nigeria’s economic capital, are far from being conducive for commercial activities as many are in a deplorable state, lacking basic facilities.

A survey conducted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) showed that markets visited are unkempt, lack basic facilities like toilets; have poor drainage systems, and do not have adequate parking facilities for patrons.

At Agbalata International Market in Badagry, NAN observed that there was a lack of parking space causing congestion in the place on most market days.

Mrs. Funmilayo Fasasi, an employee of the National Population Commission, who patronized Agbalata Market, told NAN that going to the market was not a pleasant experience because she could hardly find space to park her vehicle.

“Agbalata has become a hell of a market because the place is always congested.

“A market of this status without a parking space is something one cannot even imagine.

“One will spend hours to get a parking space and if you are lucky to eventually get one, a motorcyclist or another driver would have hit or scratched your car by the time you return.

“The local government managing the market should find a lasting solution to this problem. It is disheartening,’’ she said.

Mrs. Mariam Avoseh, a resident of Aradagun, Badagry, also told NAN that getting into the market was always difficult as traders had taken over the walkways.

“Getting to the market is another headache because traders display their goods on walkways meant for pedestrians.

“The council staff come around three times in a week to collect N100 from traders on walkways instead of sending them away.

“Many people coming to the market have been hit by commercial motorcycles on many occasions.

“The council’s chairman should dislodge the traders from walkways and allow people coming to the market to enjoy the place,’’ she said.

Mr. Idowu Jimoh, a community leader and a resident of Badagry, said that since the council gave the market to developers as a concession, it had been experiencing congestion on daily basis.

“The situation has become a source of concern to traders and other stakeholders who patronize the market from various parts of the country.

“Honestly, we are finding it difficult to get adequate parking or loading space to convey customers’ goods.

“Absence of traffic officers and indiscriminate parking by heavy trucks conveying coconuts, household items, being exported through the waterways to neighboring countries have equally added to the agony of traders,’’ he said.

Speaking on the situation, Mr Olusegun Onilude, Badagry Local Government, Chairman, said that the council had set up a committee headed by the former Secretary, Mr Kamorudeen Ajape, to re-arrange the traders.

Onilude said that when the police arrested traders displaying wares on the walkways, he was the one called upon to go and secure their bail.

“We are aware of the problem of parking space in the market and we are meeting the stakeholders to find a lasting solution to it.

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“Most of the people that built houses around the markets are the ones causing the problem because they allow some of their tenants to occupy the place meant for walkways but we are working on it,’’ he said.

At Agege Markets in Lagos, NAN reports that activities of hoodlums and lack of public toilets were major issues affecting traders and patrons.

Alhaja Taibat Tijani, the Agege Market Leader, urged the state government to provide enough security and public toilets in the markets.

Tijani said that with adequate security, traders’ goods would be secure at all times.

“We want adequate security in our markets both day and night. Government should provide electricity to prevent hoodlums from burgling our shops at night,’’ she told NAN.

Tijani said that havoc wreaked by the hoodlums within the market had affected many traders.

“We want the local government to provide electricity to check the activities of the hoodlums within the market.

“Also there are no toilets in the markets and this is not good at all. We want the local government to come to our aid,’’’ she said.

At Sabo market in Ikorodu, NAN reports that the market was not in the best sanitary condition.

The drainage was stuffed with refuse while the general environment looked unkempt.

NAN also reports that traders displayed their wares indiscriminately along the road leading to the market, causing congestion and chaos.

The woman market leader, otherwise known as “Iyaloja’’ of Ikorodu, Alhaja Taofikat Allison, however, said the Ikorodu Local Government and traders in Ikorodu were taking measures to address the situation.

One of the measures, according to her, is the introduction of a weekly sanitation exercise to ensure the market is clean always.

Allison said that the market executives were working to ensure that some traders who had extended their activities to major roads, thereby constituting environmental nuisance and impeding vehicular traffic, were checkmated.

“The Sabo market is the biggest where virtually every resident of Ikorodu come to buy foodstuffs and to do their shopping.

“There are pockets of challenges but our members are working hard to resolve these problems,’’ she said.

She also urged the council boss to provide parking space to allow trucks bringing goods to offload them conveniently.

A resident, Mr. Ganiu Lawal, suggested that the local government should impose fines on street traders who contributed to the unclean state of the market.

Lawal commended the local government for the reconstruction of the perimeter fence and construction of a drainage system to avert erosion ravaging the market during the rainy season.

“The gate of the Sabo Market was in a sorry state before it was rebuilt.

“The resuscitation of our weekly sanitation exercise to keep the market clean always is a welcome development,’’ he said.

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