March 5, 2020

Lagos vows to clampdown on street traders

LAGESC arrests 2,212 offenders, prosecutes 296 in 2020

Says activities cause gridlock

By Bose Adelaja

Following persistent gridlock in some parts of Lagos occasioned by the activities of street trading and hawkers, the Lagos Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC), has vowed to step up its operations by ensuring total clampdown on street traders.

The Corps Marshal of the Agency, CP Akinpelu Gbemisola (rtd) stated this at the Command Headquarters, Bolade-Oshodi saying the Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has directed that all the roads in the State be rid of any form of an impediment for the free flow of traffic as well as safety of all and sundry’’.

She called on people who transact businesses on setbacks and walkways to desist or face the music.

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The Corps Marshal said walkways are meant for pedestrians to walk and not for trading activities so as to give room for motorists to enjoy smooth vehicular movement.

She noted that rising numbers of hawkers on our major highways pose grave security implications for motorists as some criminals disguised as hawkers exploiting the opportunity to dispossess motorists of their valuables.

She explained that directives have been given to LAGESC officers to move out on all the major highways to arrest hawkers for appropriate prosecution, saying that our roads are not meant for trading, as legalised trading activities are carried out in State-approved markets.

Akinpelu recounted that many lives have been lost due to brake failure as ‘hit and run’ drivers sometimes knock down hawkers, while some roads are always locked down as a result of activities of traders who display their goods on walkways and roadsides for sale thereby impeding free vehicular and human movements on Lagos roads.

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Similarly, she commended on the ongoing Ikoyi/Victoria Island Clean-up exercise which has recorded remarkable success with the joint effort of other agencies such as Environmental and Special Offences Unit (Taskforce), Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Lagos State Special Offences (Mobile) Courts and the Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC), she, however, expressed the readiness of LAGESC operatives in sustaining the cleared areas in Ikoyi and Victoria Island, while also warning that anybody found around these cleared areas will be prosecuted and their goods confiscated.

She finally explained that the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello has also directed that any of the Agency’s operatives found in any act compromising on this directive and the Clean-Up Exercise be dealt with accordingly.