No fewer than seven persons were apprehended over the weekend as the operatives of both the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences (Taskforce) Unit and the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC) jointly dislodged all illegal trading activities on road set-backs and walk-ways around Ikeja.
The Chairman of the Lagos State Task Force, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi disclosed that activities of these illegal traders, hawkers and other environmental nuisances was an eye-sore which impeded free flow of traffic around Kodesho Street, Medical Road and Ikeja under bridge towards Railway line.
Egbeyemi said the exercise was in line with Section (1) of the Lagos State Street Trading and Illegal Market Prohibition Law 2003 which prescribes a punishment of N90, 000 or a (6) month jail term, for both the buyer and the seller of any goods or services on all roads across the State.
“Despite continous advocacy, enlightenment and appeals from the government some illegal traders and hawkers were still of the habit of violating the extant environmental laws of the State by causing disorder and serious environmental infraction on the roads through their activities”
According the the Agency “all illegal traders and hawkers must vacate the roads in order to drastically reduce inconveniences to motorists, enhance the sustainability of the environment and protect public infrastructures which were often vandalized by hawkers and Street traders”
In a release by Adebayo TaofiqHead, Public Affairs Unit, Egbeyemi said that government would not tolerate the disregard of law from any quarters, particularly traders who were found of converting every available space into market as such untoward acts needlessly inconvenience other law abiding citizens.
The Taskforce boss hinted that seven illegal traders were arrested during the exercise, while different types of good ranging from fairly used clothes (okrika), shoes, belt, fairly used electronics, gas cylinders mobile phone accessories were also confiscated by the enforcement team.
“This is a pointer to other locations such as Oyingbo, Bariga, Mushin, Yaba, Orile-Iganmu, Apapa, Ikorodu, Mile 12, Ojota, Ojota, Obalende and Lagos Island where activities of these illegal traders impeded the free flow of traffic that it would not be business as usual till zero tolerance is maintained”
While warning all market union leaders to desist from collecting illegal fees from these illegal traders and hawkers, the Agency urged owners of all illegally built kiosks and containarised shops on road set-backs and walk-ways to remove them immediately or face the wrath of the Law.
In the same vein, the Agency had served 72hrs notice to food vendors who are in the habit of blocking off Awolowo Road opposite Airport Hotel, Ikeja to desist from preventing residents to gain access to their respective home every night as such act contravene the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Law.
Egbeyemi however confirmed that the Lagos State Commissioner of Police CP Zubairu Muazu has directed that those 7 arrested traders be charged to court for prosecution.