Lagos, Oct. 25, 2023: Two security experts on Tuesday decried the closure of the Alaba International Market and the Trade Fair Complex Market by the Lagos State Government.
The experts, Dr Andrew Ibeh of Diamond Security Firm and Mr Austin Bereko of Synergy Strength Ltd, said in Lagos.
The experts, who spoke against the backdrop of the state’s indefinite closure of the markets, said that the sealing of these two major markets in Lagos was a threat to public security.
They said that many of the traders depended on daily earnings to live, and could succumb to crime to survive, if they are denied these daily earnings.
Alaba International Market and the market situated at the Trade Fair Complex did not only serve residents of Lagos State but also its West African neighbours.
The markets were sealed on Monday by the state for a series of environmental infractions, particularly improper waste disposal and burning of wastes,.
The markets, which are hubs for confectioneries, merchandise, electrical and electronics wares, auto spare parts and others, has remained sealed for the second day on Tuesday.
Ibeh said that the policy was an unwholesome one, adding that apart from the valuable man hours lost, the young ones could become predisposed to crime due to lack and wants.
“Many of them are used to a certain life style which their daily earnings can support but with the closure of the markets that are their sources of income, they might be tempted to seek unwholesome ways to survive.
“The market was closed after a weekend with most of them not having prior knowledge of the closure. Many of the traders came to the market on Monday to do business only for them to be turned back by operatives.
“Yesterday evening at a relaxation spot in the area, some young traders ordered for drinks without informing the owner that they wanted to buy on credit. They ate and drank to their satisfaction incurring a debt of N7, 000 before telling the business owner that they would pay later.
“This kind of thing is rare in this place before this period,” Ibe said.
On his part, Bereko said that the closure of the market had halted commercial activities in the markets, having also affected sundry businesses within the traders’ residential areas.
“Commercial motorists and motorcyclists that depend on the traders for their daily earnings are crying for lack of patronage alongside the street urchins that sell tickets to them.
“With the existing hardship in the land, many of those class of persons that live on daily earnings can easily be lured into organised crime to the discomfort of the public,” he said.
He called on the state to treat the matter with kindness and reopen the market, saving the traders from loss.
Bereko noted that the two international markets have millions of persons earning their living from it with many banks operating in the place.
He added that the food and beverage section of the markets had goods worth millions of naira that could expire, if not quickly sold.