The Lagos State Government has read the riot act to street traders in the state, especially on the Third Mainland Bridge and Eko Bridge, declaring zero tolerance for street trading in the areas.
This disclosure is contained in a press statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Gaji Omobolaji Tajudeen, on Wednesday, July 5, 2023.
Gaji maintained that the action by the state government is in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to promote a cleaner and more aesthetic environment in Lagos, ensure total enforcement of the environmental Sanitation laws, and create a safer State for all.
Violators to be prosecuted
The Permanent Secretary said that it had become imperative to re-sensitize and seek the support of all stakeholders to eradicate street trading and other environmental nuisances, adding that the warning is being given to encourage residents who are contravening the law to look for other legal businesses as enforcement agents and agencies will come after them.
Gaji warned that not only will all the wares they hawk and display on major roads be confiscated; anyone apprehended will face prosecution at the Mobile Courts in line with the State Environmental laws.
He also assured that the latest enforcement drive against street traders, when commenced, would be a continuous one that would also be sustained.
The Permanent Secretary noted that as a megacity that is developing into a smart city, Lagos has no place for street traders who not only constitute an eye sore to the aesthetics of the city, and expose themselves to hazardous situations; they also constitute a threat to the security of lives and property.
Many street traders are also criminals
Gaji stressed that Mr. Governor has given his go-ahead to the exercise, as many of the street traders are also criminals who masquerade as hawkers to attack unsuspecting motorists.
He buttressed that the enforcement exercise, which will be carried out by a special task force of the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) and other enforcement agencies, will consistently come after any persons found engaging in prohibited acts such as street trading, indiscriminate dumping of refuse and hawking.
He also sounded a note of warning to some of the criminally-minded ones amongst the street traders who are fond of launching violent attacks on enforcement officers on duty, advising that they comply with all State Laws and not prevent authorized agencies from carrying out their tasks.
Gaji averred that adherence to the directive would ensure a cleaner and safer environment for all, as the State would no longer tolerate any act of indiscipline, hooliganism or any act of violence that can disrupt the prevailing peace in the State.
What you should know
This is not the first time the Lagos State Government is embarking on this exercise as part of its efforts to promote a cleaner, hygienic and aesthetically resplendent environment in the state and ensure total enforcement of the environmental Sanitation laws.
The government frowned at the activities of street traders, displaying goods on roads, and walkways, and hawking on highways which impedes the free flow of traffic coupled with littering of dirt on the streets.
It stressed that these prohibited acts expose traders to hazards like in the case of brake failure among other catalysts of auto accidents.