The Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Enforcement Unit, Taskforce, yesterday warned street traders that it would start implementing the Lagos State Government Street Trading and Illegal Market Prohibition Law, 2003, which prescribes a punishment of N90,000 or a six-month jail term, for both the buyer and the seller of any goods or services on the streets.
The agency it action is in furtherance of the state Government’s commitment to stamp out street trading on the State Highways and other major streets in Lagos metropolis.
It said it is more ready to clamp down on street traders and support other sister agencies of the state in the enforcement of the total ban on street trading in the State.
The Chairman of the Agency, CSP Shola Jejeloye said the agency is committed to the safety and security of Lagosians while maintaining sanity on the Highways.
“It is no longer news to anyone that the closure of the Eko Bridge was as a result of illegal street trading right under the Bridge that resulted in fire outbreak and subsequent closure of the Bridge due to safety reasons. Now the Bridge has been reopened and we will ensure that these street traders do not inflict any more pains on Lagosians”
“Collaborative efforts and joint operations have been carried out by the Agency and other sister Agencies like Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC) in eradicating the menace of street trading that impedes free vehicular and pedestrian movement along major routes like Oshodi, Ketu and Ajangbadi. All hands will be on deck this time to ensure that compliance is recorded statewide.
Jejeloye said that activities of street traders on the Highways poses environmental and security concerns as a result of the criminality that goes hand in hand with street trading, especially at night.
“We have made series of arrests of hawkers in traffic who pose under the guise of selling items in traffic but end up robbing unsuspecting commuters of their valuables in the process. We are out to put a stop to it through this planned exercise” Jejeloye stated.
The Chairman appealed to Lagosians to collaborate with the State Government in achieving the State’s vision of Mega City Status as enshrined in the THEMES Agenda of the State. He urged commuters and pedestrians alike to refrain from patronising street traders as a stiff punishment awaits both the buyer and the seller once apprehended.