KAI, Traders Bicker Over Illegal Structures In Lagos Markets | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

South West

KAI, Traders Bicker Over Illegal Structures In Lagos Markets

Posted: Jul 24, 2015 at 5:24 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Emmanuel Udom – Lagos 


The honey moon is over, likewise the regime of laisez fair which held sway, especially during the electioneering. The Lagos state government through its Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI), has warned traders to desist from displaying their wares on the roads. Any breach, it went on to say, would attract sanctions.

Of late, there has been a return to the old days when traders sell their wares in open spaces and by the side of the roads. The result is always traffic gridlock.

From Oshodi to Agege, Iyana Ipaja to Ogba, Mile 2 to Yaba, Abule  Egba to Mushin, Apapa to Obalende to Ikoyi,  the story is the same. Traders are either selling on the street or erect an illegal structure to carry out their trades.

At the popular Iyana Ipaja bus-stop for instance, the officials were seen dismantling the woods and other makeshift structures constructed by traders close to the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway.

Thereafter, they (the officials) barricaded the roads with ropes and tape rules in order to prevent the traders from displaying their wares near the roads leading to Egbeda, Agege, Akowonjo and Abule Egba. But like the elders say, to be forewarned is to be forearmed. KAI has embarked on advocacy campaign, to sensitize the traders on the need to do their business within the bounds of the law. To this end, it has set aside one month to educate the traders on why it is imperative for anyone who wants to open a shop or put up any structure to follow the approved structure or hire the ones built by the state government.

This much the Public Relations Officer of KAI, Tunde Lasisi told Oduduwa. He said from mid July till the end of August, “KAI officials have been going from one market, major road or bus-stop to the other to sensitize residents on the need to obey the law.”

But the traders did not agree with the PRO.

Chinudu Ude, who sells fairly used cloth, popularly known as Okrika at Oshodi market in Lagos, said the whole thing smacks of politics.

He told out correspondent last week that “simply because most Igbos resident in Lagos did not vote for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), this is the reason the Akinwunmi Ambode-led regime in Lagos is trying to send Igbo traders back to their villages in the eastern parts of the country”.

Also, Sunday Babs, a shoes trader at Yaba market also accused officials of the outfit of always coming to extort money from them.

His words: where we (the traders) do not have money to give them, they either seize our wares or arrest us, where we could be whisked away to their office at Alausa.

Lasis said it is not true. “KAI is not out to run anybody out of business, or extort money from anyone. Lagos is a multi ethnic state and as such, traders are a mixed grill of people from different states and countries”.

However, the days ahead seem to be a litmus test for the government in enforcing the rules on street trading.