The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, on Tuesday issued three months ultimatum to traders at Ifelodun Plank Market, Demurin in Agboyi-Ketu area of Lagos to put safety and precautionary measures in place or have the market shut.
The market was gutted by fire on 28 December, 2020, with several properties destroyed. The same market was also razed by fire in 2013.
Director General, LASEMA, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, after a meeting with the Ifelodun Plank Market leaders in Alausa on Tuesday said the agency would be acting tough this year and would carry out lots of enforcement to enforce compliance.
“We have read the riot act to Ifelodun Plank Market traders, we are giving them 3 months, if there is nothing in place to protect lives and property, we will seal the place and do a proper reconstruction,” he warned.
Oke-Osanyintolu said LASEMA would go all out this year on enforcement and that if need be prosecute those threatening safety of lives of properties.
According to him, the agency would partner with the Lagos State Ministry of Justice to prosecute recalcitrant people in a bid to avert disasters.
The LASEMA DG added that the agency was able to review the fire incident that occurred at the plank market a month ago and that LASEMA was satisfied with the result.
“We tried to look at the causes of the fire incident at the market, we look at what happened in 2013 and 2020. We looked at how they need to move to the new plank market and the pandemic ongoing and educate them on how they need to insure their properties. They reasoned with us and said they will comply with us,” he said.
Oke-Osanyintolu added that he was sure Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, as a compassionate governor would look for ways to help the traders financially, urging them to insure their properties.
Alhaji Aliu Bello, Chairman, Ifelodun Plank Market said traders would comply with the decisions of the state government to move to the new plank market once completed.
He said the plank traders would put COVID-19 safety protocols in place and other measures aimed at protecting lives and properties in the market.
Bello, who said the traders lost over N300 million worth of properties during the fire outbreak in December, appealed to the state government to help them financially because of the huge losses.
Vice Chairman, Agboyi-Ketu Local Council Development Area, LCDA, Mufa Olatunji Okusi said LASEMA and the traders had been able to reach far-reaching agreements on how to ensure safety of lives and properties at the market.