Lagos State Government has restated its readiness to rid the state of street trading, saying it would fully enforce the provisions of the law restricting street trading in the metropolis.
Chairman of the State Task Force on Environmental and Other Special Offences (Enforcement Unit), Olubukola Abe, a Superintendent of Police, who gave the commitment while speaking to journalists in Alausa, Ikeja said the new drive is to reduce the traffic congestion on the road, often caused by the activities of street trading.
Abe said that Section 1 of the Street Trading and Illegal Market Prohibition Law 2003, restricts street trading and hawking in the metropolis.
“Section 7 and 8 of the same law gives jurisdiction and power to the special court to order the seizure and public auction of items impounded for street tradition”, he said.
Abe who said his men are prepared to step up enforcement of the relevant sections of the law, urging motorists not to encourage their activities by patronizing them.
According to him, Section 10 of the law prescribes a N5000 fine or three months imprisonment upon conviction”, he said.
He said the implication of the violation of the law is multifaceted.
“Aside from the far reaching implication of street trading in terms of accidents which in most cases are fatal, street trading also affects the free flow of traffic in the metropolis as well as contradicting the environmental sanitation laws by littering our streets with waste generated from the act”.
“We’ve had reports on the activities of persons who pose as beggars, especially in traffic, but their sole aim is to perpetrate evil. We are putting a search light on this trend and one way to do that is to ensure that we take preemptive measures to forestall this development”, he said.
Abe, while urging residents to refrain from patronizing street traders, also appealed to Lagosians to be safety conscious and ensure they seek for spaces in various markets designated for trading in the state.
“There is no way any responsible government will allow street trading to continue after providing stalls in designated market places all over the state”, he said.