Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Wednesday directed the Task Force on Environmental Sanitation and Other Special Offences to ensure enforcement of the law prohibiting street trading and begging in the state.
A statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tunji Bello, expressed government’s concern over the return of street trading in major areas of the state.
It said not only does this constitute environmental nuisance, the development also poses a security threat to residents.
The statement said that there was an existing law in the state prohibiting street trading.
It urged those interested in doing business to seek for space in the various modern markets redeveloped by the state government to enhance their business activities.
“At the State Security Council meeting on July 7, it was resolved that street trading has continued to hamper free flow of traffic on roads.
“It also constitutes nuisance and security threat to the citizens and will no longer be tolerated.
“Therefore, street traders and buyers will henceforth be arrested and prosecuted.
“The Task Force on Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences has been mandated to ensure that the law of the state against street trading is enforced to the letter,” the statement said.
It said that all security agencies had resolved to beef up security in the state to ensure that it remained safe for residents and investors.
The statement also urged residents not to encourage the trend by patronising street traders, saying doing so indirectly aids and abets crime.
It also decried the prevalence of street begging, saying that some unscrupulous persons hide under the guise of seeking alms to rob unsuspecting members of the public.
“To this end, efforts will be made to rid the state of street beggars and the destitute.
“We’ve had security reports on the activities of persons who pose as beggars, especially in traffic, but their sole aim is to perpetrate evil.
“We are putting a search light on this trend and one way to do that is to ensure that we take pre-emptive measures to forestall this development”, the statement said. (NAN)