Stakeholders have called for stiffer sanctions against defaulters of environmental laws in Oyo State, to prevent practices that may pose hazards to the environment.
The stakeholders made the call at a day consultative meeting organised by Oyo State Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, yesterday.
The meeting organised in conjunction with Oyo State Waste Management Authority and Task force on Environmental sanitation was floated to sensitise market men and women in the State on Government’s efforts to put an end to filthiness in markets.
Speaking, the Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Rt. Hon. Kehinde Ayoola revealed to the participants that the State Government is strengthening the environment law enforcement.
The Commissioner argued that market places in the State are an eyesore, due to the wastes generated from the markets.
“We cannot underestimate the importance of markets in the State, therefore we seek for your cooperation in realizing this feat”, he said.
Ayoola revealed Government’s concerted efforts to evacuate refuse at the 62 markets in the capital, he however hinted that environmental law offenders would henceforth be prosecuted regardless of their affiliation.
“Depending on the weight of the offence, offenders caught would not face mobile Courts, after being caught or pay heavy fine for their offences”, he said.
Saying henceforth, disposing waste at the median or disregarding designated disposal points in the State is an unpardonable offence, the Commissioner pleaded for their cooperation.
Rt. Hon. Ayoola also revealed that the State Government is overhauling the four dumpsites in the State, as this would enable Private Sector Participation operators effectively evacuate refuse at market places.
In his words, the Chairman Environmental sanitation Task force and Executive Assistant to the Governor on Security, Rtd. Compol Fatai Owoseni said the State Government would make the enforcement all inclusive.
He therefore hinted the establishment of Environmental Marshals amongst market men and women, who would police offenders and reprimand them.
He also said the State Government would leave no stone unturned at ensuring Oyo State is a better and healthier place for all its inhabitants.
“This meeting is aimed at sensitizing you, our stakeholders in all the 62 markets in Ibadan, the state capital and seek for ways to effectively manage our waste disposal system”.
“Consider this meeting, a warning for early action, while we call for suggestions from you on the ways you feel we can save the environment”
Market leaders present lent their voices to the State Government’s drive, saying stiffer penalties for offenders should be enforced..
Stakeholders at the meeting include state emergency committee, civil society groups, Market leaders, Traders among others.