Tuesday, 5 July 2016

What Nigerians are saying about #LagosHawkersPolicy

The Lagos State Government said ;ast Friday that it had begun a total enforcement of the law prohibiting street trading and hawking. The state government said that the law would be implemented in every part of the state.

The state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, said that the renewed enforcement was in line with Section One of the Lagos State Street Trading and Illegal Market Prohibition Law 2003.

The governor, while sympathising with the family of a street hawker who was knocked down by an articulated truck while trying to evade arrest from officials of Kick Against Indiscipline  along Maryland Bus stop on Wednesday, regretted that the situation led to the destruction of public assets

He said, “It is not in our DNA to allow someone to just die by road accident or the way it happened in respect of the incident. But beyond the fact that we lost one person while crossing the road as a result of evading arrest by KAI officials, I need to tell Lagosians that over 49 buses were actually destroyed and it is costing us like almost N139m to put those buses back on the road.”

The governor added that the state executive council consequently resolved to enforce the law, which according to him, makes hawkers and buyers liable of the offence.

Ambode said, “The issue is we need to enforce our laws because we already have a law in respect of that and then there is a clause in it which says the buyer and the seller are both liable and that we are going to fine them either N90, 000 or a six month jail term.

“What we are doing on traffic is that we are introducing new strategies to eliminate traffic, but Lagos, being a cosmopolitan city, you cannot totally eliminate it but now this is the case, in the next few days, you will see on the street of Lagos signs that will be warning you that buyers and hawkers should be aware that there are consequences.”

As at press time, 6 am on Tuesday July 5, the hashtag #LagosHawkersPolicy is trending and while some people think it's high time the hawkers got off the streets, others want the government to ensure that an alternative is arranged for the hawkers in a bid to reduce crime rates as a result of their sudden 'joblessness'.

Here are some tweets: