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.
â€œWe will write our report to government and let them know what we are facing at Ikotun and that we need a park there,â€ he said.
â€”Kazeem Ugbodaga & Paul Sanusi