By Joshua Olalekan, Lagos
Operatives of the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences Unit (Task Force) led by the Chairman, Olayinka Egbeyemi alongside officials of Kick Against Indiscipline ‘KAI’ on Saturday dislodged street traders/hawkers around ‘Tinubu Monumental Arcade’ located at Lagos Island Local government area.
According to the state government, the operation is in furtherance of its promise to protect all monumental arcades from street traders/hawkers and other environmental nuisances across the State.
The government stated that while many of these ‘Monumental Arcades’ were “primarily meant to preserve our cultural heritage and to serve as archives for academic research”, others were provided just for relaxation and were named after heroes of this country.
The ‘Tinubu Arcade’ which was re-constructed by the present administration was named after Madam Efunroje Tinubu (1810 – 1887) a female aristocrat and trader during pre-colonial period in Nigeria.
Tinubu Monumental Arcade has been seriously abused with environmental nuisances particularly street traders and hawkers who by extension now block road setbacks and walkways constructed around the arcade.
Egbeyemi disclosed that environmental nuisances particularly street trading/hawking around Tinubu Square and all other ‘Monumental Arcades’ provided by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is worrisome.
And that the Agency would strictly implement the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Laws on any arrested street traders/hawkers causing environmental nuisances besides and around all monumental arcades across the State.
He enjoined market leaders across the state to warn traders and hawkers to immediately stop displaying and selling wares besides and around all monumental arcades provided by the government.
He, however advised traders not to extend their trading activities beyond areas strictly earmarked for market by the government as anyone arrested selling on road setbacks and walkways across the State would be charged to environmental courts and have thier wares confiscated.
Meanwhile, the Task Force has relocated from Ikeja to Multi-purpose Agency complex, Bolade Oshodi opposite the Arena complex.
According to government the relocation which equally affected some other government agencies was meant to strenghten their operations.
Other government agencies affected with the relocation exercise includes Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), KAI, Nigeria Legion,Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Mobile Courts.
To smoothen the operations of these relocated agencies the government provided them with social amenities such as electricity, a standard food canteen, a gymnastic, fire station etc.