Street trading ban: Hawkers quit highways, relocate to suburbs

Street hawkers off the roads, as only newspapers vendors were seen at Maryland. Photo: Sylvester Okoruwa

Unlike Sunday, there was almost a total compliance with the ban on street trading in Lagos State, on Monday, with almost all the major streets in the metropolis free of hawkers as of press time. For instance, the usual spectacle of hawkers on Third Mainland, as early as 7am, was glaringly absent around 9am when Lagos Metro passed through the route yestersay.

Besides, the ever-busy Kingsway Road, on the Island, was also free of  traders plying their trade on the streets in in the early hours of the day.

Ojota was also one of the areas that was deserted, when Lagos Metro visited.This, was also contrary to what obtained in the area, in the past.

However, a couple of street hawkers were sighted, by Lagos Metro at Abule-Egba. Other areas of the state suburb were also said to witness  an influx of hawkers, obviously moving from the metropolis. “Maryam” , a soft drink trader at the Iponri area of the Lagos Mainland, expressed shock at the ban , emphasising that she knew nothing about the order, and was just informed a few minutes before Lagos Metro contacted her.

According to Maryam, it was not a welcome development. She pleaded with the government to have mercy and pity on the traders who she said were just mere petty traders, claiming her husband lost his job months back, and she had been sustaining the family with the little sales made from hawking soft drinks

Another trader at Palmgrove said “hawking is in fact very risky to hawker, but what can we do? This is Lagos life. This is the only way I know. If am to stop this now, how I would I cope with my daily needs and the government should also know that buyers and Lagosians too will feel the absence of  hawkers”.

Mufutau, a pedestrian commented that “the law was not new. I know everything and the noise will stop soon. It is more of a political thing.”