By OKUNADE ADEKUNLE
Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly have called on the state governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to come up with strategies to protect the state local traders, saying that there is need for the enforcement of the Lagos State Market Advisory Council Law.
The resolution followed a motion moved by the Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, who observed that the current commercial practices in local markets by big players and product producers threatens successful trading and entrepreneurship which is capable of forcing local traders out of business.
Agunbiade, in his submission, that some indigenous market men and women acting as middle men and women are fast developing strategies that prevent local marketers from having access to farm produce at reasonable prices collaborating with foreign nationals to monopolize goods and farm produce that are ordinarily the pre-occupation of native marketers/entrepreneurs.
He further observed that unless the economic threat to local trading and entrepreneurship is quickly checked, most indigenous marketers and entrepreneurs in local businesses may soon pack up with dire consequences on the economy and security of the State.
Contributing to the motion, Hon. Rotimi Olowo, noted that apart from calling on the Governor, the state should be able to state reasons as to why the local markets should not be taken over by foreign nationals.
Olowo added “It is not in tandem with the provision of the Constitution which states that it is only when we do not have the expertise that the foreign nationals are allowed to input.”
Hon. Adadamola Kasunmu, while maintaining that the input of the market men and women be incorporated, stated that there is a need to constitute a stakeholders meeting with the market men and women with a view to understand what the challenges are.
Kasunmu added “We need to do the needful by collaborating with the market men and women on the position of the Government.”
Hon. Desmond Elliot added that if expatriates want to invest in retail marketing, they should have the terms in the Law in order not to affect the local market retail.
In the same vein, Hon. Age-Sulaimon, remarked that Lagos is a structure within Nigeria and has its own foreign policy and therefore should reflect in the commercial activities.
In his comment, Hon. Tunde Braimoh, demanded explanation on why the House would have to come up with a review of Market Advisory Council Law and at the same time calling on the executive to enforce the same law.
In the same vein, the Chief Whip, Hon Rotimi Abiru said, “I don’t think there is any law that prohibits the manufactures from selling directly to the end users. So everything depends on our strategies.
Abiru added, “We have been craving for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), so we should not send wrong signal, there is need for caution.”
Meanwhile, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Sanni-Eshinlokun who presided over the plenary today said, “though a market must be competitive, there should be free entry and exit but the proponents of the motion believe the non-organized traders must be protected. It is generic, it is not to protect a section”
The House, however, resolved to commence a review of the Lagos State Market Advisory Council Law Ch. L. 45 Laws of the Lagos State 2015; with a view to updating and bringing it in conformity with recent practices and economic realities in the local market.