The Lagos State Government has vowed to enforce the existing restriction order on commercial motorcycle operation in certain routes as well as street trading within the state.
This was disclosed after the monthly Security Council Meeting involving heads of all security agencies in the state.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode called on residents to comply with the extant laws.
“These extant laws especially those bordering on environmental offences such as street trading is not peculiar to Lagos alone and other major parts of the country,” officials said. “It is a huge challenge in many developing countries.”
The street trading and illegal market prohibition law (2003), which gives jurisdiction and power to special courts to order the seizure and public auction of items impounded for street trading, has been in existence but not being strictly enforced.
Section 10 of the law prescribes the sum of N5000 as fine or three months imprisonment upon conviction.
The State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, admonished Lagosians not to patronize traders who sell in unapproved areas. He also urged residents to shun okada operators who ply routes which the law restricts them from.
Mr. Owoseni said Lagos State remained relatively peaceful for now.
“We have looked at those areas we need to improve upon and basically those were the issues the Council considered” he said.
On Mr. Ambode’s directive last week at a Town Hall Meeting in Ikorodu that Okada riders should not ply Mile 12-Ikorodu route, Mr. Owoseni said it was product of a thorough deliberation.
“Specifically, I’m talking about the street trading, the restriction of commercial motorcyclists to certain areas. You see, there is need to have the buy-in of members of the public in all these and the Council considered the need for us to still tell the citizens that in as much as we want to enforce, there is also need for members of the public to willfully comply with extant laws of the State.
“When they comply and conform to the laws, it will be easier for security agencies to enforce. Where the law says there should not be street trading, people should not patronize street traders; where the law says Okada should not ply certain routes, people should not patronize commercial motorcyclists in those areas.
“But most importantly, as the Security Council has always emphasized, there is need for everyone to be security conscious and raise awareness about security in their surroundings,” Mr. Owoseni said.