Oyo Assembly Begins Investigations Into Illegal Market Structures, Revenue Leakages
The Oyo State House of Assembly has lamented the growing illegalities in markets across the state, noting that the situation posed grave danger for economic growth against what was envisioned by the Governor Seyi Makinde-led government.
The concern was raised at the floor of the House by the state’s lawmakers while deliberating on a motion titled, ‘Urgent needs to curb illegalities, mismanagement and revenue leakages in markets across Oyo State’ on Thursday.
The Oyo State House of Assembly noted that the act of illegality being perpetrated by some market leaders, including tampering with approved physical structures within the markets, had distorted the original plans and, as well, made markets’ structures unattractive to investors.
While presenting the motion on the floor of the House, the Chairman, House Committee on Commerce and Cooperative, Akinjide Olajide, stated that alteration of physical outlay of markets in the state, as well as mismanagement of public facilities, were the remote causes of irrecoverable losses in markets during fire outbreaks incidences.
He spoke in reference to the blockage of access roads and other road networks in markets with unapproved structures thereby making it impossible for fire fighters to access points of fire during outbreaks.
The lawmaker who represents Lagelu State Constituency of Oyo State stated further that most markets in the state were designed to meet international standards for the purpose of promoting commerce, industry and achieving sundry other economic goals in a serene environment, but the intents were being hampered by market leaders.
He lamented that illegal collection of government revenue had become the order of the day in some markets thereby undermining state’s efforts at generating revenue for infrastructural development within the state.
He called for the improvement of sanitation of markets across the state and the entrenchment of discipline in a bid to combat revenue leakages and, thereby, engender economic development.
Lauding the current administration in the state for its infrastructural development strides in markets, the lawmaker said the state House of Assembly would support the ongoing initiative by intensifying its oversight functions through tracking of budgetary allocation for markets’ growth and development.
Other lawmakers at the plenary described the motion as timely and relevant for the growth and development of the state considering its potential as a tool for checking irregularities and other unethical activities within the markets at the expense of the state.
They unanimously urged the state government to put measures in place to resuscitate and empower the task force on markets.
In his reaction at the plenary, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin, said the safety of all markets in the state should be paramount to all stakeholders. He pledged that the House would make adequate check on issues of welfare, security and revenue generation in markets across the state.
The House directed the Committee on Commerce and Cooperative, as well as the Committee on Environment and Ecology to investigate the matter promptly and report same back to the House in two weeks.