A Bill for a law to prohibit street begging, trading on walkways and hawking in Edo on Monday passed second reading at the state’s House of Assembly.
The bill was sponsored by 14 members of the House.
Leading debate on the bill, the Deputy Speaker, Mrs Elizabeth Ativie (Uhumwode-APC), said that it was intended to curb the menace of street begging in the state.
According to Ativie, the bill, if passed will help to eradicate street begging and prevent possible infiltration of insurgents in the state.
”The act of trading on walkways should be discouraged, because they prevent passers-by from using walkways thereby forcing them to walk on the tarred roads,” she said.
She decried the increasing rate of street begging in major streets in the state, recalling that such had been banned in most states in the northern part of the country.
The lawmaker appealed to members to support the passage of the bill to curtail the ugly trend.
Mr Ojo Asein (Owan West-APC) and Monday Ehighalua (Esan West-PDP) supported the bill and called for specification of areas where street trading would be banned in the state.
The lawmakers, however, advocated banning of only children of school age from hawking, adding that it was a means of livelihood for some parents.
On his part, the Chief Whip, Mr Adjoto Kabiru, called for caution on the bill, reminding the lawmakers that there was an existing law on street trading in the state.
According to him, I will advise that during the clause-by-clause consideration of the bill, we have to look at the bill critically to avoid conflict with the existing law.
Earlier, the Speaker, Justin Okonoboh, had urged members to support the bill to complement the effort of the state government in making the state conducive for residents.
After the debate, Ativie moved that the bill should pass second reading. The motion was seconded by the Majority Leader, Mr Foly Ogedengbe.
The speaker, therefore, directed that the bill should be given to the Committee on Environment, with a mandate to report back within two weeks.