COVID-19: Traders lament on the 5,000naira imposed fine as Amuwo Odofin LG re-opens four markets in Lagos
The market leaders are reported to have signed an undertaking to comply with all the safety protocols as regards COVID-19.
The Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area in Lagos has reopened four markets for business after three days of closure following concerns about their non-compliance with the COVID-19 guidelines, Imposes a 5,000 naira fine on each trader.
Traders continue to lament as 5,000naira fine was imposed on them by the Council, as the Council Covid-19 Task force in collaboration with the Market leaders are reportedly going round to ensure that shops of those who are unable to pay remain locked up. A receipt is being issued to those who have paid and aRe allowed to do business.
Meanwhile, most of the traders grossly affected by the imposed fine are those who sell groceries, as majority of them are poor widows who are trying to make a living. To them, the Council’s decision is too harsh and bringing more hardship on them as they often struggle to sell off their perishable goods due to the limited market hours and days as one of the Covid-19 guidelines.
Some of the traders who spoke to Kristal Media on anonymity said they were only given few days to open shops inorder to raise the money to pay the fine, From next week, the TAsk force would be locking up shops of those who are yet to pay.
Meanwhile, Mr. Olusegun Idris, the Chairman, AOLG Committee on COVID-19, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday that the decision to reopen the markets came after a meeting between the council and the market leaders.
According to Idris, who is also the Vice Chairman of AOLG, the market leaders signed an undertaking to comply with all the safety protocols as regards COVID-19.
“They also agreed to set up a task force to ensure that things are done properly,” he said.
Mrs. Osinatu Adebayo, the Market leader at OpeOluwa Market, Agboju, told NAN that the agreement to reopen the markets followed a commitment that traders would abide by the safety guidelines for the pandemic.
Adebayo, who is also the overall leader of the foodstuffs markets within Amuwo Odofin, said that the leaders also agreed that traders will not sell to customers not wearing face masks.
She noted that one challenge they had with enforcing the use of face masks is with traders who couldn’t wear them for a long time due to medical reasons.
Also, the 23 Road Onyinlola Market Leader, Mrs Stella Cookie said that the main indictment by the council was on the use of face masks.
“Apart from the banners we put up, water and soap for washing hands, all the traders now have hand sanitiser and wear face masks.
“Now we have people who enforce the rules, even from the gates. We tell them to go if they don’t have face masks,” she said.
The four Markets that affected by the imposed fine are; Agoju Market, Onyinlola Market 23 Road, Festac Town, Mile2 Shopping Complex and Aspanda Market.
Kristal media recalls that the council on July 20, 2020 shut four markets in the local government areas as part of safety measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the community.