Executive Chairman of Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, Mr. Debo Adeniran, tells BAYO AKINLOYE that Lagos State Government’s renewed enforcement of Street Trading and Illegal Market Prohibition Law 2003 is unfair and unwarranted
Why are you against Lagos State’s renewed enforcement of the Street Trading and Illegal Market Prohibition Law?
The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders is opposed to the promulgation of the anti-street hawking law in the first place because Nigeria, and Lagos in particular, has a preponderance of poor people who live on less than a dollar a day. The situation even gets worse when you realise that there are people who live on less than 50 cents a day. We said that all the facilities that are available for the people are far beyond their reach. We educated the previous administration on the need why such a law should not be promulgated. The concept of creating a megacity is not about making the environment look beautiful with flowers and other architectural projects and de-population; chasing out the poor from the city. It is about expanding the existing infrastructure to accommodate the mega population. The government needs to provide adequate structures and facilities that will enable every member of the state to realise their potential within the ambit of such provisions. Since there has not been any provision to keep people gainfully employed away from major roads, it is improper for the government to invoke a law that is, considering the present realities, against the masses’ welfare. True, we do not want anybody to constitute a nuisance on the road but we do not want a situation where the poor pay for the convenience of the rich. The ban on street hawking as it is today only satisfies the needs of the rich rather than the poor’s.