Lagos Cracks Down On Street Traders, Danfo Drivers

The Lagos State Taskforce on Environment and Offences (Enforcement) Unit has begun massive crackdown on street traders across the state, with the clearing of street traders at Cele Bus stop on Monday.

The taskforce officials also impounded 15 commuter buses illegally parked at Cele Bus Stop and arrested four traders who were not so lucky to have escaped like their colleagues. Cele Bus Stop is notorious for illegal street trading. Traders usually take over road sides and median for trading.

The environment on the Apapa-Oshodi expressway is like a booming market.

Officials of the taskforce stormed the area on Monday morning well armed and with a Black Maria. Immediately the traders saw them they left their goods and fled while commuter buses loading on the road and causing obstruction were impounded.

There was a mild pandemonium in the area as traders selling on the road sides scampered to safety to avoid being arrested. They deserted their goods which were seized by the taskforce in a renewed war against street trading.

Taskforce Chairman, Supol. Bayo Sulaiman told P.M.NEWS that the government had declared zero tolerance for street trading across the state, saying that the exercise would be a continuous one and that no one would be spared.

According to him, there had been lots of complaints by residents in the area that street traders had taken over the Cele Bus Stop, hence the need to act urgently to dislodge them.

He stated that some of the street traders act as armed robbers as they had guns under their wares and had in the past dispossessed innocent Lagosians of their valuables while trying to sell wares to them.

Sulaiman disclosed that the goods seized from the traders had been donated to orphanage homes in some parts of the state, adding that those arrested would be charged to court while those whose vehicles were impounded would pay the penalty for such offence.

On the menace of street traders at Ikotun area of Lagos, the taskforce chairman said they would be dislodged but noted that the traders often come back after the exercise, saying that government was looking at a holistic means to solve the problem permanently.

According to him, officials of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW had always complained that they did not have space to park their buses, which was why they parked on the roads, with the attendant effect of traffic gridlock.

“We will write our report to government and let them know what we are facing at Ikotun and that we need a park there,” he said.

—Kazeem Ugbodaga & Paul Sanusi

5 COMMENTS

  1. The cost of renting a shop or even a stall in lagos is so astronomical, these people are so poor, that the whole value of what some of them sell is less than a thousand naira, simple solution, look for a long street, or two in every area, let people do their trading on these streets at time and date to be determined, it could be between six – ten hours trading activities. If you do this, these people who are left with no choice could easily buy into it, no-one wants to be run after by your merciless officials, and including the fake ones, as we have seen on programmes like INSIDE OUT.

  2. Supol Sulaiman, thank you for sanitizing and getting these enemies of the society. There are some genune traders who are erking livivng out of the little Wares they dispaly for sale. Please, what is the hope for the common man in Lagos?. Please we want your attention to be focused on Ikotun traffic snarl. We are tired of these Danfo drivers in Ikotun. Please come to our aid.

  3. I have once commented on this issue of street trading.Governor Fashola .should put human face in handling the issue and even cub the excesses of the so called task forces.I once watched them operate at Aswani Market at Isolo.To even deter the market women is easy without adding more pain to their pains!Many of these women are widows with many children to cater for.What arrangement has government right now for widows in Lagos State?In the Isolo Operation,the task force men ensured that the women had settled properly in the said ‘illegal’ places ,mind you there is nothing on ground to indicate “NO TRADING” in those places!Why must they come after the market women have settled down with their wares?It is widely known that non or little of the seized wares get to the charity homes as they claim.I advised the Governor to find the water locked spaces in Lagos Metropolis , reclaim them and build affordable market stalls for these women, especially the widows so that they can cater for their children left behind by their deceased husbands.This gesture will pay of eventually,as such children will not in future become menace to the society. There is even further need to identify widows and extend financial assistance to them,by so doing God will continue to prosper the State.

    • So they must take over the road meant for vehicles? I don’t know how you want to justify this illegality. “there is nothing on ground to indicate “NO TRADING” in those places!” you claimed. Was there anything on ground to indicate you should trade there? Why must the market women settle there in the first place? if they dont allow them to settle, i know people like you will be the first to raise arms that they are arresting passers-by. We should learn to criticize constructively. I have falling victim of this menace severally in Bariga. A road that is wide enough to conveniently accommodate 3 lanes on each side has been reduced to 1 lane for each direction of traffic. Even pedestrians are having holdup in that location. Are those traders all widows? Even at that, some widows live larger than many that that are not widowed. Poverty knows no marital status, everyone should be accommodated.

  4. With the billions of naira collected each year by NURTW why can’t they purchase land as garages? Govt is merely encouraging illegality.

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