Straighttalk: Regulated Street Trading And Hawking In Lagos Megalopolis By Ade Ilemobade
I have followed the controversy on Twitter about the recent pronouncement of the Governor of Lagos State and I wonder what the whole hullabaloo is about. The resolve by the Governor to enforce or implement existing law on street trading and hawking in Lagos State should not have generated such unwarranted controversy if not for the fact that we have been living a life of lawlessness for eon that we are unable to decipher or imagine what it means to live in a civil society wherein rules and regulations are the guiding mechanism of governmental decisions.
The controversy generated by this pronouncement in my view is much ado about nothing because the Governor is performing his duty as the Chief Law/Security Officer of the State and he must maintain law and order at all times for the good governance of the State since the bulk passing exercise automatically stops at his door steps in the event of total anachy in his jurisdiction.
Attempts to intimidate the Governor by showing his picture wherein he was buying goods from a Street trader, Vendor, Hawker, will not negate the fact that from July 1, 2016 the street trading prohibition law will be strictly enforced/implemented, negligence of the past administration in respect of enforcement is a bygone issue.
Those who insist that they will continue trading or hawking on the street are risking everything in the name of making a living.
Note: I understand their Argumentum ad misericordiam but we need to build a civil society wherein our laws are implemented. You cannot take risk with your life & get killed by moving vehicle while Hoodlums, Miscreants or even Street traders and Hawkers want to blame the government by resulting to vandalism of government properties as solution.
If you want to remain on the highway street trading you must take responsibility for the risk you are taking. I understand that it is not a pretty proposition to street trade/hawking because there are so many obvious socio economic arguments within the purview of poverty and ”economic disadvantageouness” that most people have canvassed for the non implementability of the law against street trading and hawking in Lagos State.
My view, such argumentations cannot be used to justify lawlessness and Jungle mentality that are characteristic of street trading and hawking in our clime. We can have a regulated street trading or hawking in the form of an open market paradigm that is what I was suggesting to Ambode in my Tweets that Lagos State government can go ahead with the provision of Locations, Landspaces and Spots in various LGA wherein street trading would be allowed. Please, make it mandatory for Traders, Hawkers to seek consent from the Local Government by applying for street trading licence.
Hawking or Pedlars Licence will be required also if you are selling your Wares, Goods on foot door to door place to place or city to city but not on the roads or major highways. This will generate income for the government via the LGA administration and those willing to do their businesses via these methods have legal channels or opportunities to do so.
Lagos State government in collaboration with the LGA can make various multiple designation in respect of street trading or hawking like Licence streets, Prohibited streets and Consent streets. We have system like this in place in the Western world wherein licences like those mentined above are issued to Traders and Hawkers, sometimes specific days are designated for trading and hawking in various Wards, County and Districts.
We must however avoid tacit consent no matter the circumstances surounding the application or the Applicant when making the determination.
Furthermore, hygiene requirements to protect public health and insurance cover must be one of the many vital requirements that cannot be waived.
The Law against street trading must be implemented no excuses for not doing the needful. Kudos to Ambode.
EKO ONI BAJE OOOOOOOOOO ILO SIWAJU ILU EKO LOJO WA LOGUN.
OTUNBA ADE ILEMOBADE is a philosopher