The Ogun State Government has issued a stern warning to markets in the state, threatening closure for those failing to maintain proper waste disposal and cleanliness, especially in light of the ongoing cholera outbreak across Nigeria.

Abayomi Hunye, Special Adviser to the Governor and Managing Director of the Ogun State Waste Management Authority, delivered the ultimatum during a meeting with the Ogun State Association of Market Men and Women in Abeokuta, as reported in a statement released to PUNCH Online.

Highlighting the critical need for hygiene in marketplaces, Hunye emphasized that markets serve as vital hubs for purchasing foodstuffs and other commodities, making cleanliness essential to prevent diseases.

Improper waste disposal, he warned, breeds pests like rodents and flies, which can contaminate goods sold to the public and contribute to disease outbreaks.

“In Ogun State, we have provided large waste bins and engaged Waste PSP Operators to facilitate proper waste management in most markets,” Hunye stated. Despite these efforts, he noted that some traders continue to disregard regulations, dumping waste in prohibited areas such as drainage channels and creating illegal dumpsites within market premises.

Hunye cited past incidents, including a fire outbreak at Lafenwa Market in Abeokuta, exacerbated by illegal dumpsites.

He emphasized the government’s zero-tolerance stance on such practices, threatening closure for any market found violating waste disposal directives.

To mitigate risks, Hunye urged market stakeholders to adopt responsible waste disposal practices, cooperate with the Ogun State Waste Management Authority (OGWMA), and ensure timely payment of government-subsidized waste bills.

He underscored that maintaining cleanliness in markets not only enhances public health but also safeguards against environmental hazards.

As the state intensifies efforts to combat the cholera epidemic, Hunye reiterated the government’s commitment to enforcing sanitation standards across all markets to protect residents and promote a healthy living environment.