Sunday, 26 July 2009


By S.Olanrewaju Disu


It is pertinent to mention that there are some markets in the Lagos Area Metropolis that sell only one agricultural product. For example, the “Idi-Oro Market “sells only plantains, and perhaps corn when in season. Virtually all the southern part of Nigeria, i.e. the tropical rain-belt zone, produces plantains and bananas all-year round, and the “Idi-Oro Market” in Lagos receives and sells this product everyday. We also have markets that sell only yams. These are dotted all over the metropolis. Though yam is a seasonal crop, it is cultivated very extensively in the middle-belt area of the country. Hence, it is always available all-year round.
There are the rams’ markets. The biggest of these rams’ markets is the “Alaba Rago Market’’, situated along the Lagos – Badagry Expressway, on the outskirts of Lagos Metropolitan Area. The expansive land-mass with sub-tropical climate of the Northern parts of the country is extremely favourable to ruminant live-stock production, and there are ever-ready markets in Lagos for these animals.
We have the “Daleko Market’’ in Lagos that specializes in the sale of a popular cereal- i.e. rice and vegetable oils. These two items are available in the “Daleko Market’’ year-round, rain or shine, from dawn to dusk. There are always heavy vehicular and human traffic in and around the market every single minute of the day. Indeed, it is one of the busiest markets in the whole country.
There is the well-known snail-market in Lagos Island situated near the “Okesuna Municipal School’’ behind the “Abari Cemetry’’. Renewed interest in snail-farming in recent years has made snails to be in good supply at our markets. Assumed medicinal value of snails among our people make snail- selling a profitable venture in our markets.
We also have meat markets. These are markets that sell only beef and mutton. These types of markets are usually located adjacent to or not far from abattoirs. They operate six days a week – Sundays traditionally being rest days. Because of the large density of population in Lagos Metropolis, meat- markets are tremendously patronized. Indeed, our butchers, though not very educated, are people of comfortable means. That’s why some of them pass down the profession to their off-springs!
Finally, we have fish markets. Lagos, an island surrounded by water (the lagoon, the Atlantic Ocean, rivulets & creeks) has fish in abundance. These naturally must create peculiar markets that specialize in the selling of sea-foods. We have them at Apapa, Ijora ( Ibru Jetty ), Badagry and Epe.
Because of the huge population, fish and other sea-foods must be imported to compliment local production, which has dwindled because over-fishing and the depletion of fishing population due to several other factors- e.g. the pollution of sea-water from industrial wastes.
Alas, the importation of fish simply created another peculiar market- the frozen fish market!
Indeed, people who sell frozen fish do sell frozen chicken and turkey alongside them- all in the same cold room! Local poultry farmers always have ready markets available in these frozen fish markets.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009


The Lagos Metropolitan Area of Lagos State, in South-West Nigeria, is very densely populated. According to the Lagos State Government, Metropolitan Lagos, an area covering 37% of the land area of Lagos State, is home to over 85 % of the State population, which the State government put at 17 Million out of a national estimate of 150 million. The rate of population growth is about 600,000 per annum with a population density of about 4,193 persons per sq. km. In the built up areas of Metropolitan Lagos, the average density is over 20,000 persons per square km. The UN estimates that at its present growth rate, Lagos will be the third largest mega city in the world by the year 2015 after Tokyo in Japan and Bombay in India.

The discovery and exploration of oil in large commercial quantities in the 1970s brought in huge financial resources to the Federal Government of Nigeria, whose seat was then in Lagos. Because of the oil wealth, the government engaged in developmental activities of monumental dimensions: building of bridges, fly-overs, express-ways, modern airports, big and sophisticated hotels, land – reclamation, massive road re-constructions and building of magnificent office complexes as well as expansion of wharfs and sea-ports.
The above brought about a deluge of multi-national construction companies into Lagos. These construction companies need battalions of workers: skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled. This, in a nutshell, is the genesis of the influx of people into Lagos. This influx has continued unabated till today. Indeed, this influx has brought about socio-economic problems-mainly food and shelter. To quote the famous slogan of the F.A.O,”food comes first.” the need for the enlarged population of Lagos Metropolitan Area. to feed its people created market places all over the area.

The adequately take care of the populace; many of the markets in Lagos area are fairly large. These markets sell a large variety of agricultural products: fresh fruits and vegetables, poultry and fish (both fresh fish and dried or smoked fish), cereals, root and tuber crops, spices and herbs as well as edible vegetable oils. We also have meat, from cattle and mutton.

Nigeria is blessed with vast areas of land that support agricultural and arable activities all-year round. Therefore Lagos Area markets are never in want of farm products – albeit there are times when these products are in season (when we have them in large quantities and they sell relatively cheaply) and also there are times when they are not in season (fewer quantities and high prices).

How are these agricultural products brought into the markets?. Third party middle –men (sometimes called produce-buyers) go into farm-lands in the hinterland. They buy sundry farm products directly from farmers. Since these farmers do not have the technical know-how and resources to keep and store their farm produce for a considerable length of time, they sell cheaply to produce-buyers who immediately transport the fruits, peppers, yams and others in very large quantities, using long-haulage trailers, into Lagos State. The trailers off-load these farm products into large markets on the out-skirts of Lagos specifically built for this purpose, e.g. the popular “Mile 12” Market. It is from these markets that scores of market-women (and men, too) buy and transport (on a whole-sale basis) farm products that are then distributed by use of pick-up vans to various urban and sub-urban markets in the metropolis. Small-scale retailers also come in droves to buy farms products, namely, peppers, fresh leafy vegetables, onions, yams, carrots, cucumbers, spices etc. and transport same in unionized transport services to various neighbourhood markets and local retail outlets.