THE PLIGTH OF STREET TRADERS IN LAGOS STATE
The general point of contention is that street trading contributes to the menace of the road traffic experienced in Lagos State. It causes traffic jam on roads, insecurity and danger to passers -by, seller, and buyers, sales of counterfeit products and hide-out for miscreant, public nuisants or area boys.
Bearing in mind the above problems, the Lagos State Government embarked on the fight against street trading through a constituted Task Force by demolishing illegal structures like kiosk,batchers,umbrella mounts, use of poles,nails,and ropes to display wares along the street. Almost all the streets in Lagos State have been cleared recently; and this has contributed to the free flow of traffic to an extent.
It is very important for the Government to realize the causes of street trading as obtained in Lagos State where every one from far and wide rush to for greener pastures. There are few standard markets, the cost of renting a shade, shop or stall is not at the reach of the common man in the society. Local Government many times are inconsistence in the erection of shops and stalls ,thus they may erect them and collect rental fees for two years, later demolish and again start re-construction thereby charging fresh fees. Despite the fact that some big traders have their approved shops and stalls, they still send out their servants or apprentices to go and display their wares along the road thereby competing with the under privileged ones already there.
Though the new Government of Lagos State ,as part of its manifestoes has started constructing standard markets ,take for instance the Awolowo Market in Mushin.All this is aimed at discouraging street trading; but the newly constructed shops and stalls are not at the reach of the common man, the rental fees are not affordable.
It is also important to consider the great disadvantage of the total demolition and abolition of street trading because it can promote the menace of miscreants and operation of Area Boys in the street.
The exercise may render many affected traders useless which may result to frustration. It will definitely increase the societal problems of the unemployed and poverty. Therefore, the Government should please reduce the rental fee of shops and stalls according to the economic level of the people in the society,
Demolition and abolition of street trading may not solve the societal afflictions, disorderliness and poverty; rather it may create more societal problems.
As it is said "A frustrated man is the most dangerous man in the society".
HNDll MASS COMM
LAGOS STATE POLYTECHNIC.