The Caretaker Management Committee at the popular Balogun Market, Lagos Trade Fair Complex, on Friday, urged traders to pay their statutory dues to enable to it evacuate refuse within the complex.
Its Chairman, Chief Anselm Dunu, made the appeal at an interactive session with occupants of the plazas and clusters that make up the multi-billion Naira international centre for commerce.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports tens of thousands of traders operate within the housing at least 300 shopping malls and warehouses.
The traders there generate about 10 tonnes of solid waste daily needing to be well managed to forestall environmental health crisis.
Dunu told the traders that they had the obligation to pay their dues for the committee to provide the environment conducive to trading.
“The non-payment of dues by shop owners have rendered the management cashless and may result in the place being taken over by refuse.
“It can also attract the state sealing the place for contravening the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Law.
“To manage and properly dispose waste here is capital intensive; most trucks owned by the market are in bad state, and workers manning the place have to be paid.
“We were all witnesses when the State sealed off some markets for not meeting up with laid- down environmental regulations; it will be foolish of us not to learn from the plight of others.
“During the Christmas and New Year break, the committee borrowed money to evacuate waste to secure goods of traders from being vandalized,’’ Dunu said.
Dunu, who described the refusal of traders to pay dues, as one shooting himself in the foot, said if the traders had issues with erstwhile executives, it would not be ideal to visit the interim management with such.
He added that the committee would not run on borrowing to execute its mandate within the allotted time frame given to it.
The chairman added that there were no other means to get money to run the affairs of the market such as security, provision of electricity, waste management and to execute election to usher in new executives.
Some traders, who agreed to support the committee to achieve its mandate, asked the committee to speed-up election time-table for the market.
Mr Kenneth Obi, from one of the clusters known as Abuja Plaza, said that keeping the place clean was the responsibilities of shop owners.
He explained that the face-off between the traders and the former executive made traders to delay payment of their dues.
NAN learnt that the committee plans to lock defaulters’ shops by the end February. (NAN)