If you are a street trader in Lagos, you have to brace up for tough weeks ahead, especially roadside traders operating within the Agege local government area of the state.
A special task force has been put in place to arrest and prosecute them if they would not take advantage of a newly inaugurated ultra-modern market put in place for their use.
The Wife of the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Princess Bukonla Obasa just inaugurated the new ultra-modern market to serve the Agege community, but there are indications that it may not stop the ardent roadside traders.
This is inspite that the new ultra-modern market, located in Moshalashi-Alhaji, has up to 100 lock-up shops and other facilities for the traders.
In her admonition during the unveiling, Mrs Kayinsola Adebeshin, who stood in for the speaker’s wife, appealed to the roadside traders to desist from the practice, and rather take advantage of the new facility.
This she said would help to secure their lives and those of their customers.
“We appeal to the traders to take good advantage of the new modern market.
“We also urge them to take proper care of the facilities and observe the market environmental hygiene for the benefit of the community.
Reiterating the advice of the speaker’s wife, the Executive Chairman of Agege Local Government, Chief Ganiyu Egunjobi, warned potential roadside traders that they ran a risk of being arrested by a taskforce.
Providing reason for the project, he said: “This is newly constructed ultra-modern market, the project was built to ring succour to the traders and the residents.
“Formerly this place was an hideout to hoodlums and touts but we convert it to market for the residents and traders to benefit from,” he said.
In the same vein, the Iyaloja General of Agege, Alhaja Taibat Tijani, stressed that no roadside trading would be allowed in the area now that a place had been provided for the traders.
The Eagle reports that as noble as the new complex, compliance would however be difficult going by antecedents.
Investigations show that roadside traders abound even in areas where the authorities have duly provided markets and stalls.
The tendency is for the traders to abandon such markets and spill unto the road, in an effort to catch quick shoppers.
The practice is not only common statewide, but accounts to traffic gridlocks in several areas.
Commitment to containing the desperate roadside traders may indeed see many of them in direct confrontation with law enforcement agencies.