Operatives of both the Lagos State Taskforce and their counterparts in the State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC) at the weekend commenced total clampdown on illegal trading activities in the state as they dislodged all such activities on road setbacks and walk-ways around Ikeja, arresting a total of seven traders during the operation.
The affected traders are to be charged to court for prosecution.
Also during the exercise, different types of good ranging from fairly used clothes (okrika), shoes, belt, fairly used electronics, gas cylinders, mobile phone accessories were m confiscated by the enforcement team, according to a release made available to Tribune Online Metro News by the Task Force spokesperson, Mr. Taofiq Adebayo.
Task Force Chairman, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi, while speaking on the exercise, denounced the activities of these illegal traders and hawkers, describing them as an environmental nuisance and an eye-sore.
According to the Task Force boss, such had impeded the free flow of traffic around Kodesho Street, Medical Road and Ikeja under the bridge towards Railway line, even as he served 72-hr notice to food vendors who were in the habit of blocking off Awolowo Road opposite Airport Hotel, Ikeja.
According to him, the food vendors should henceforth desist from preventing residents to gain access to their respective home every night as such act contravened the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Law.
Egbeyemi said the joint 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.
This was just as he lamented that some illegal traders and hawkers were still in the habit of violating the extant environmental laws of the state despite continuous advocacy, enlightenment and appeals from the government, saying that they do this by causing disorder and serious environmental infraction on the roads through their activities.
“Despite continuous 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,” he said.
“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 vandalised by hawkers and street traders,” he added.
Egbeyemi warned that government would not tolerate the disregard of law from any quarters, particularly traders who were found of converting every available space into a market, saying such untoward acts needlessly inconvenience other law abiding citizens.
While disclosing that seven traders were arrested, with a number of goods seized during the operation, the Task Force boss affirmed that this was a pointer to other locations in the state where activities of these illegal traders impeded the free flow of traffic that it would not be business as usual till zero tolerance was maintained.
According to him, the areas include Oyingbo, Bariga, Mushin, Yaba, Orile-Iganmu, Apapa, Ikorodu, Mile 12, Ojota, Ojora, Obalende and Lagos Island.
“This is a pointer to other locations such as Oyingbo, Bariga, Mushin, Yaba, Orile-Iganmu, Apapa, Ikorodu, Mile 12, Ojota, Ojora, 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,” Egbeyemi stated.
He warned all market union leaders to desist from collecting illegal fees from these illegal traders and hawkers, urging owners of all illegally built kiosks and containerised shops on road setbacks and walk-ways to remove them immediately or face the wrath of the law.