The operatives of both the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences (Taskforce) Unit and the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC) on Saturday dislodged all illegal traders on road setbacks and walk-ways around Ikeja.
Speaking on the clampdown, the Chairman of the Lagos State Task Force, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi stated that the activities of the illegal traders and hawkers constitute an environmental nuisance and also an eyesore which impeded the free flow of traffic around Kodesho Street, Medical Road and Ikeja under-bridge towards the Railway line.
CSP 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 six-month jail term, for both the buyer and the seller of any goods or services on all roads across the State.
In his words, “Despite continuous advocacy, enlightenment and appeals from the government, some illegal traders and hawkers were still fond of violating the extant environmental laws of the State by causing disorder and environmental infraction on the roads through their activities”.
“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.
CSP Egbeyemi maintained that government would not tolerate the disregard for law from any quarters, including traders converting every available space into a trading spot as such untoward acts needlessly inconvenience other law abiding citizens.
“This should serve as a warning to illegal traders in other locations such as Oyingbo, Bariga, Mushin, Yaba, Orile-Iganmu, Apapa, Ikorodu, Mile 12, Ojota, Ojora, Obalende and Lagos Island where their activities impede the free flow of traffic that it would not be business as usual till zero tolerance is maintained across the state” Egbeyemi emphasised.
While warning all market union leaders to desist from collecting fees from these illegal traders and hawkers, he 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 has served 72hrs notice to food vendors blocking off Obafemi Awolowo Way, opposite Airport Hotel, Ikeja to desist from preventing residents to gain access to their homes every night as such act contravenes the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Law.
CSP Egbeyemi also confirmed that the Lagos State Commissioner of Police CP Zubairu Muazu has directed that the seven illegal traders arrested during the operation should be charged to court for prosecution.