Once again the bustling second-hand auto spare parts market otherwise known as Ladipo Market in the Mushin Local Government Area of Lagos State has been shut down by the state government.

This typically happens once or twice every year and the chief reason has usually to do with claims of unsanitary practices by the hordes of traders there.

True to type, Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, says the spare parts market was shut down this time for several environmental offences, including reckless waste disposal, unhygienic premises, and non-payment of waste bills, among others.

Whenever this happens, there is a stifling of business as those who sell spare parts are deprived of their means of livelihood and those who need the parts suffer want and inconvenience.

There are several hundreds of shops in the market that sprang up in a residential area and expanded from street to street as the business boomed.

It was not deliberately designed, structured or designated as a market.

The market is huge and the trader’s groups there say they lose about N100 million per day anytime there is a closure such as this.

This claim seems to fit, considering that there are an estimated 1,150,000 new and used motor vehicles in Nigeria, which frequently need changes of parts and much of the parts come from the Ladipo Spare-parts Market in Lagos.

The place is quite a bazaar, typically milling with all manner of traders, artisans and vendors, caterers, directly selling some component or servicing a spin-off.

Motorcycle courier services constantly shuttle the market collecting and delivering parts across Lagos, which larger logistics operators likewise deliver across the country.

The Ladipo Market is crowded, rowdy, cluttered and clustered and strewn with all manner of metals and packages and then stained and dripping with stale lubricant oils and often is an unseemly sight.

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It’s also a place where tempers regularly flare and people come to fisticuffs and sometimes gun fights culminating in the loss of lives.

These stem sometimes from incursions of gangs of miscreants who seek to extort the traders, or from armed personnel who feel shortchanged in the purchase of wares and come back angry, seeking redress, or from the traders themselves willfully cheating or harassing customers or passersby, or fighting among themselves.

It is one of those not well governed spaces in Lagos State.

Because about 80 percent of the traders are of one ethnic stock, not native to the locality, there are often claims of discrimination and malice, real or imagined, in the dealings of the Lagos State Government and its officials with the market groups.

Then again, it is said that some unscrupulous government officials contribute to the disorder and unsanitary state of the market by allocating unapproved and undocumented spaces and collecting rents, bringing about further cluttering.

Whatever the case, it is the duty of government to provide markets, facilities and services and dictate regulations for their use, while it is the responsibility of traders to use the facilities lawfully and pay taxes and rents to government.

As such, the Lagos State Government should properly structure, designate and regulate the spaces and conduct in the market to make for ease of business for buyer and seller, as pertains orderliness, sanitation, monitoring of quality of service, civil conduct, taxation, security and fairness, among others.

Also, if it is decided that the market is overcrowded and not purpose built, then it behooves the state government to set up an ideal market at another location and migrate the traders.

Furthermore, perhaps the situation of this market would be one more reason for the Federal Government to get the nation’s other seaports functional, so that goods can be delivered where they are needed and there can be more spare-parts market strewn across the country rather than having all of Nigeria crowding in one city to access critical goods.

The pain, cost and chaos would surely be an incentive to government as a visioner and regulator.