Confusion rocks Marchaty lane, in Bolade Oshodi area of Lagos State, early hours of Wednesday, December 8th, as traders in the market displayed placards with various inscriptions, to complain the indiscriminate action of the Oshodi/Isolo local government Chairman, Kehinde Oloyede Almaroof, for the ongoing illegal construction of iron kiosks on the market public drainages after they have been banned from using the area for business.
According to information reaching SarahReports, traders in the market, especially in the area of concern, are rejecting the local government Chairman’s move because, to them, it is more than an unfair treatment. They said, it is rather unthinkable and indiscriminate, for Chairman Almaroof, to think of such inglorious project as a way of generating income for the State.
They said, prior to this time, daily fines were collected by officials of the Oshodi/Isolo local government, from individuals who dare display their goods close to the drainage, and that, an official letter was issued to all shop owners in the said area, warning them of the risks involved in doing business close to the public drainage.
The traders also complained that, the market wastes, that freely gather on the drainage, has been the responsibility of the traders, who pay monthly fines of … to the Lagos Waste Management Authority, (LAWMA). Adding that, the local govt authorities, also made them pay a compulsory fine before the commencement of the ongoing kiosk building project.
However, in the letter issued by the Environmental Health Department of the Oshodi-Isolo Local Government Area, titled: “Abatement Notice On Street Trading”, dated 2nd of May, 2021, addressed to shop occupiers, it was clearly written in paragraph 3 of the letter that, traders, defined as ‘you’ “are to stop this illegal operations/trading on the road and drain”, and that the traders are expected to “remove all your (their) tables/counters, and wares, and other insanitary materials on the site, and to reinstate the road/setback and drain to its original position within three (3) days of service of this notice” with a promise in paragraph four (4) of the letter that, failure of the traders to comply, may lead to prosecution, and forfeiture of their wares, or goods, to the government.
With the issued letter, traders within the area of concern, believed that, the debated space should be free from ‘invasion’, be it by government, or by individuals; but to their surprise, iron rods, belonging to the local government, were seen on the site for construction of kiosks.
According to sources, the newly constructed kiosks, which attracts N1.2million for a single unit space, is expected to be seated right on the public drainage, which the government had said no one should trade in the area.
The sources also emphasized that, any time there is heavy downpours, lasting for hours or for some days, that area of the market is usually flooded; therefore, it will not be right for the local government Chairman to consider such a spot for his kiosk building project, as there will be no any other way to clear the drainage system whenever it blocks.
The traders therefore, in strongest terms, reject the proposed area for the kiosk building project, saying Kehinde Oloyede Almaroof, the local government Chairman, has got no human face since his election into office as the Oshodi/Isolo local government administrator.