Street hawking in the commercial capital of Nigeria is officially banned today (Monday July 4) with the Lagos State Task force on Environment and Special Offenses promising a crackdown on all traders who defy the ban.
Local media reports that most streets and highways of the very busy State seemed deserted by traders for fear of being arrested. The State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, had disclosed a new fine regime for street traders and people who patronize their wares.
Under the law, persons engaged in street trading could be fined up to 90,000 naira (equivalent to over $300)
Enforcement is a continued exercise and we have set target for ourselves. We want to ensure that Lagos is noise-free by the year 2020. With our status as a mega city by 2020, we will be free of noise.
The governor, speaking in an interview, said that the renewed enforcement is in line with Section I of the Lagos State Street Trading and Illegal Market Prohibition Law 2003 which restricts street trading and hawking in the metropolis.
Soon, there'll be signs on the street of Lagos warning that buyers and hawkers should be aware of consequences https://t.co/Yc5ibWd72D— Akinwunmi Ambode (@AkinwunmiAmbode) July 2, 2016
The death of a street hawker last week, as he tried to evade arrest by Metropolitan police hastened the resolve of the State government to enforce the law against street hawking despite resistance by some traders that their livelihoods were being taken away.
Lagos State anti-noise, anti-motorcycle regimes
The State has in the recent past being on the case of persons and or groups that are militating against the dream to make Lagos State a mega city by the year 2020.
A court recently backed the State government’s decision to restrict the activities of commercial motorbike operators popularly referred to as Okada riders. According to the court, these riders had to restrict their operations to certain parts of the State.
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The State’s Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) also closed down some 70 places of worship deemed to be flouting regulations relative to noisemaking.
20 mosques and 70 churches were reportedly closed down along with other facilities like beer palours, club houses and hotels.
According to Shani Bola, General manager of LASEPA, ‘‘As at today, we are only able to reduce the noise level to about 35%. That is not a pass mark yet. So, until we reach that target of 70 to 80%, we will continue the enforcement.
Enforcement is a continued exercise and we have set target for ourselves. We want to ensure that Lagos is noise-free by the year 2020. With our status as a mega city by 2020, we will be free of noise,’‘ he added.
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A recent research ranked Lagos as the most expensive African city to live and work in. Lagos is home to several African and global businesses. It is set to start drilling oil whiles according to recent reports Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote is also building a $12 million oil refinery and petrochemical plant in the State.