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Street Trading: Lagos state government raids traders in Oshodi, Apongbon

The Lagos State Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences Unit (Taskforce) on Monday raided the Oshodi railway track and Apongbon Bridge to clear off traders and stamp out trading on highways and other major streets in the Lagos metropolis.

Penpushing reports that a statement by the Task Force Spokesperson Gbadeyan Abdulraheem,  said the enforcement exercise followed Governor Babatunde Sanwo-Olu  directive to stamp out street trading on highways and other major streets in the Lagos metropolis.

“The simultaneous operations, which were tactically supervised by the chairman of the agency, CSP Shola Jejeloye, was, as a result of the directives of the state government to all environmental enforcement agencies of government saddled with the responsibility of restoring sanity on the walkways, highways and rail tracks where some individuals incessantly carry out trading activities which not only debase the environment but also cause pain and discomfort to Lagosians,” the statement reads.

Penpushing further reports that Chairperson of the Task Force Shola Jejeloye, during the exercise, stated that several notices had been served on the traders, especially those at the Oshodi rail track, explaining that the agency carried out sensitisation and subtle warning in the area to discourage the traders from returning to the tracks, but the appeals fell on deaf ears.

“Our warnings have been sent out to them for as long as two years ago, but they don’t listen. We served notices at Fagba, where some people built shanties, kiosks from Fagba all the way to Pen Cinema and Isokoko, thereby shortchanging motorists and pedestrians who should enjoy free movement along that axis. It is completely unfair to all Lagosians, and we will make sure that they are all cleared out with immediate effect,” he said.

Penpushing also reports that Jejeloye pointed out that they ought to arrest both buyers and sellers in the area but, to avoid double jeopardy, the agency seized only the goods found on the Oshodi rail tracks, just as he urged the market leaders to come to the agency’s headquarters for a roundtable engagement to foster a permanent solution to the menace.

The agency boss explained that the raid under the Apongbon Bridge was carried out to forestall any environmental mishaps that could reoccur and lead to loss of lives and properties, recalling that the bridge was reopened for vehicular movement last week, 15 months after it was closed for repairs following a fire outbreak.

Penpushing reports that Jejeloye said the enforcement exercise was necessary because the activities of street traders posed a major threat to the environment and general well-being of Lagosians, while it is also recalled that on 23 March, many shops under the bridge were destroyed in a fire outbreak in the market area.

The Chairperson of the Task Force appealed to the traders to relocate their activities to the facility provided by the state government and desist from carrying out activities that are counterproductive to the state.

‘Achieving a mega city status as enshrined in the THEMES agenda of the state government is a collective effort, and all hands must be on deck to ensure its sustenance. We will carry out these enforcement exercise on a daily basis to ensure we achieve our aim, and anyone found going against the law will be arrested and prosecuted accordingly’, he said.

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