The Mende Cane Village, Maryland is going into Extinction as construction work begins under the Ojota-link bridge, Lagos.
The Mende Cane Village is a local craft market located in Maryland, Lagos beneath the Ojota-link bridge. Artisans in this market use canes to make a variety of furniture and household items, including chairs, tables, baskets, flower vases, and more. The numerous forms that cane wood can take when fashioned into furniture is a magnificent sight to behold. As a result, when people are looking for attractive objects and African products to embellish their homes, offices, and other areas, they come to this location first.
The Lagos State Government in January 2022 announced the flag-off of the Ojota-Opebi link Bridge project through Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu. The project is aimed at reducing travel time for Lagos and Ikorodu bound traffic from Opebi; and ease gridlock at the Opebi-Sheraton Link Road and Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way.
The governor said the project was another milestone in the implementation of the Traffic Management and Transportation Pillar of his administration’s THEMES Agenda and the State Strategic Transport Master Plan.
However, Weavers and Art Practitioners of the Mende Cane Village, Maryland cried fowl at their eviction under the Ojota-link Bridge where they have been occupants for several years.
Recall that in 2016, the Crafts Village Nigeria team visited the Cane Weavers Association at the Mende Cane Village, Maryland to discuss how they can leverage on our online platforms to foster and improve sales out of the 4-walls of their location (Read More Here). This meeting by the Crafts Village Team with the Cane Weavers Association took place six years ago, and the merchants of Mende Cane Village had been crying out to the government to provide a new location for them to continue their trades because of the constant eviction notifications received due to Lagos’ rapid developments.
The market had been losing it’s customer base at an increasing rate and as of today their location have remained unchanged as they have nowhere to move their merchandize to. Some of the merchants are even of the opinion that things have moved from bad to worse for them as aside the ever-dwindling number of customer congregate under the bridge to buy their wares, construction workers and trucks have commenced work under the bridge and the roads all over the area.
They are requesting that the government give them a site that is large enough to handle all of the traders and their wares. They also demand a place with simple access where they can be easily visible, since they claim that their current location beneath the bridge is not accessible to the public and that potential consumers are unsure how and where to find them.
While speaking to one of the traders who prefers to stay anonymous, we were informed that the association is currently registered under the Ministry of Trade & Commerce in Nigeria and they pay several taxes to the government. This trader also claimed that under the Babatunde Raji Fashola regime, they were offered a space at the Lagos-Ibadan Express Way which the Excos of the association forfeited due to poor leadership and lack of proper communication of the excos with members of the association.