The Kwara State government has shut the popular Mandate Market in Ilorin, over failure to comply with environmental laws.
The suspension was announced on Thursday by the Commissioner for Environment, Mallam Shehu Ndanusa Usman, during an inspection visit to the market.
The commissioner regretted that despite multiple warnings from the ministry, the market leaders failed to adhere to the environmental law.
He said the decision to close the market was made after numerous meetings with the market leaders and the ministry, where the importance of maintaining a clean environment and preventing the outbreak of epidemics was emphasized. However, the lack of compliance necessitated the government’s action.
Usman said the strict action taken was enough warning to all other markets located in the state at large to desist from violating environmental laws, or else the ministry would not have no option but to close down defaulting markets.
He, however, reiterated the commitment of the present administration to sustain a clean and hygienic environment to ensure the healthy living of Kwara residents.
Naija News reported that after several hours of closure, the market was reopened following the intervention of some stakeholders in the state, with a promise to comply with the government directive.
Speaking on the issue, a market women leader (Iyaloja), Adenike Lambe, said it was regrettable that the environment was unkempt despite several efforts by the government.
“We have a consultant in the market collecting N1,000 monthly, and there have been a series of meetings between the leadership of the market and the government. They (the government) even offered to provide payloaders free of charge. Although the refuse is still there, I think the government just decided to open it for now because of negative implications to the economic situation,” she added.