By Gbenro Adesina
In a bid to make Oyo State, particularly, Ibadan clean, the state’s residents on Wednesday agreed for stiffer sanctions against defaulters of environmental laws, stressing that all practices that may pose environmental hazards should be prevented.
This was the resolution at a day consultative meeting organised by Oyo State Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in conjunction with Oyo State Waste Management Authority and Task force on Environmental Sanitation, aimed at sensitising market men and women in the state on government’s efforts to put an end to filthiness in markets.
Among the stakeholders in attendance were the state emergency committee, civil society groups, Market leaders and traders.
Speaking, the Commissioner in charge of Environment and Natural Resources, Kehinde Ayoola revealed that the state government was strengthening the environment law enforcement, arguing that market places in the state were an eyesore, due to the wastes generated from the markets.
Pointing out that government could not underestimate the importance of markets in the state, he sought their cooperation in making Ibadan clean.
Ayoola, who revealed government’s concerted efforts to evacuate refuse at the 62 markets in the capital, hinted that environmental law offenders would henceforth be prosecuted regardless of their affiliation.
He emphasized, “Depending on the weight of the offence, offenders caught would now face mobile Courts, after being caught or pay heavy fine for their offences,” adding, “henceforth, disposing waste at the median or disregarding designated disposal points in the state is an unpardonable offence.”
Ayoola further revealed that the state government was overhauling the four dumpsites in the state located in Lapite, Ajakanga, Aba- eku and Awotan, in Akinyele, Oluyole, Ona- ara and Ido Local Government Areas respectively, as this would enable Private Sector Participation operators effectively evacuate refuse at market places.