Our Markets: For Life Or Death?
Preokosifa, Oyinprebi Prosper
Markets have been in existence ever since man started the exchange of goods. Sources show that people moved from place to place in bids to sell off commodities. Markets have evolved beyond the exchange of goods and services in different ways; depending on the location, culture, weather, tradition. Some busy in the day, while others hold at night, ensuring food supply for the population. In some cities and nations, the course of commercial activities by which transactions are effected have become sights of historic and architectural significance and they represent cultural assets, turning the markets to tourist destinations. One would wish the same for our great country, but our markets have become eyesores, stamping in the memory disgusting sights.
Sadly, however, as disturbing these sights are, we still see traders comfortably displaying their wares besides heaps of refuse.
Shockingly, the authorities that have the duty to regulate the sanitary nauseating and disease risen sights is glaring for various government regulatory agencies to see and compel them act but nothing is done.
Traders now conveniently trade along roadsides, entering motorway causing unnecessary traffic lock jam, they also occupy sidewalks, abandoning shops or stalls built for trading. Every available space in towns these days have turned to market space. The ‘I don’t care’ attitudes showcased by some traders most times are hazardous to the general public, resulting to loss of lives. A promising young girl on return from school, stopped by the market to assist her mother as that is expected of her by her custom, she was fully concentrated on the bargains with a customer in her mother’s stand that was projecting into the road when suddenly a van driver lost control of the steering wheels, ran over her, the customer and others nearby, lives were lost in split seconds, while others severely injured in this incidence.
Unwholesome events like the one referred above occur from time to time in markets across the nation. And after the cries and blame game, nothing is done to correct the situation.
Revenue collectors vehemently enforce their demands by seizing or overturning goods which most times adds to the public nuisance, one would ask, if the revenue collectors or market masters in these markets are able to with such vehement enforce their demands for store rent, are they not equally empowered to make the traders stay in the market to do their trading? The market masters are collecting money for the use of the market or road? Do the sanitary inspectors visit these markets?
What about the ministries of environment and health, would they rise up to the task of safeguarding healthy conditions for the citizenry, squashing the growth of this menace?
The whole event calls for serious questioning. The governors of each state across the federation should look into this and dish out stricter sanctions to all those involved in ensuring a healthier environment. Market masters should be held responsible for not adhering if not sacked and better officers put in place.
A healthier market environment cannot be too much of a task.