The Lagos State Government on Friday announced the commencement of full enforcement of the ban on the usage and distribution of Styrofoam food containers all over the state.

Making the disclosure during a meeting with all market leaders in the state at the BlueRoof Alausa, Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab said the enforcement will start across all markets on Monday.

He added that enforcement officers from LAGESC/KAI, Environmental Health Officials LAWMA Police and the Ministry will go after all those having styrofoams in their shops, stores, or outlets and confiscate them.

Wahab emphasised that styrofoam usage had caused enough damage to the health of the residents and the state of the environment for so many years and that the government is determined to encourage viable options for Styrofoam containers across the metropolis. 

He appealed to market leaders to be reminded that cleanliness is next to Godliness, as such they must ensure that a clean environment remains a priority always.

He added that the government is disturbed about the unsanitary habits in most of the markets across the state hence leading to the recent closure of some markets in Lagos. 

He explained that the government derives no pleasure in closing peoples’ businesses, emphasising that some markets were in a sorry state because of the nonchalant attitude of the market executives.

He also mentioned that there were recent reports that government officials were attacked whenever they visited markets to ascertain the sanitary levels and enforce environmental laws in the market. 

He stressed that in a few weeks, the state government would commission the Red Rail line that is expected to operate from dusk till dawn, adding that trading activities on the railway lines are very risky and could lead to loss of lives.

Earlier in his remarks, the Special Adviser on Environment, Mr. Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu charged market leaders with the responsibility of ensuring cleanliness in their respective marketplaces, stressing that selling on the roads should be discouraged by all. 

He added that it had been observed that some illegal markets now appoint splinter leaders, leaders for the main market and other roadside traders saying these illegal acts must be discouraged as it is against the environmental laws of the state. 

He called on market leaders to ensure that they have functional public toilets in their markets to curb the menace of open defecation that can pollute the environment as well as desist from indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the markets. 

Also in his welcome address, the Managing Director, Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegeshin noted that the meeting became necessary to outline the position of the government on effective waste management in all markets, in line with the THEMES Plus Agenda of the present administration.  

He recalled that last year, the government embarked on zero tolerance for filth and indiscriminate waste disposal in markets, road medians, business facilities and unauthorised locations around the state, noting that the objective is to make Lagos a clean and healthy city that is livable for all.   

In her response, the Iyaloja-General, Mrs. Folasade Tinubu-Ojo represented by the Iya-Oja, Lagos Island, Mrs. Risikat Abeje Lasisi said that they will ensure that market sanitation continues as a daily task that all market leaders will adopt. 

She assured that the association was ready to cooperate with the State Government to adopt all proposed methods to ensure cleanliness in all markets and their environment.

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