Experts seek innovative solutions to Lagos market relocation 

Market_Lagos_Nigeria_12129005Plans by the Lagos State authorities to curb the nuisance created by the popular foodstuff market in the heart of the city have been welcomed by town planners, who are seeking innovative solutions to the social and environmental challenges imposed by Nigeria’s urbanization.

They are also making case for the creation of an agricultural commodity centre in the metropolis, which will drive an arrangement being mooted by the Lagos government to zone the market to four locations, namely Epe, Eti-Osa, Badagry, and Parafa, in Ikorodu.

A former Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development in Lagos, Mr. Francisco Abosede, told The Guardian, “there is need for every state to create a Commodity Centre, where buck suppliers would be dispensing retailing traders and those buying for domestic use can be buying the stuffs.

According to him, the success of any relocation exercise requires effective planning for their sanitary needs, waste disposal, water and power supply and garbage disposal, among others. “But the most critical is the infrastructure, especially, access roads that would separate trailers from smaller vehicles, parking space and offloading points, devoid of congestion”, said Abosede.

He also urged the government to revisit the existing recommendation by the past administrations and look for a suitable place where a commodity centre would be located. It is only after such that the proposed zoning could work, since traders would be coming from the different zones to make their purchase at the commodity centre”.

Another town planner and immediate past Permanent Secretary, Motor Vehicle Administration Agency, Mr. Ayo Adediran, urged the government to redevelop the market in a way that would be more conducive for trading activities.

On the plan to move some of the traders to Ogere, he said the location is having its own crisis, occasioned by tanker drivers, religious activities and other sundry issues that create traffic gridlock along the axis. “So, any attempt to accommodate the magnitude of Mile 12 traders requires a lot of planning, which I think Ogun government is yet to do”, he said.

In the same vein, Mr. Moses Ogunleye, a town planner shared similar view with Adediran, especially, in the areas of security, waste management, traffic control and virtually, the non-existence of some fundamental infrastructure in Ogere.

Ogunleye who was a member of committee on 2006 Regional Plan said his main concern is that for the relocation to be very effective, Lagos and Ogun governments should take the people in to confidence. He noted that other areas that may pose problem for Lagos is how to get lands for the proposed four market zones.

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