The struggle to end street trades in Lagos continues as the state government on Monday accused the Chinese companies and businessmen in the city for encouraging menace of street trading in the metropolis, saying it will no longer tolerate acts of indiscipline from corporate organisations and individuals in the state.
The statement made by Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Central Business District, Hon. Agboola Dabiri at a press conference held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Lagos, lamented that the Chinese businessmen were frustrating efforts of the state government in sanitizing and ridding the state of street trading.
In his words, Dabiri said,
“They are over a thousand on the island. They do not allow Nigerians to travel to China to bring goods. They import the goods to our door step and mostly to those that sell on the walkways.
“What the Chinese businessmen do was to give these traders small goods to sell. And two days after, the businessman will approach each trader, accompanied with two body guards, to collect their money. Through their business strategy, they encourage street trading. Even if anyone has small money, one can start business with them.”
The Honorable also noted that the corporate goods dealers lament daily over the Chinese business strategy, saying “they sell their goods lesser than the cost which Nigerians who had travelled to the manufacturers to import the goods.
“We are not saying that they are not savvy business expert, but they need to do things properly in Lagos.This is one of the challenges we have, as regards street trading. But I can assure you that we are trying our best to ensure that we end street trading in CBDs in Lagos.”
There have been a lot of debate on menaces of street trade in Lagos since 2011 and on the threats it poses on the state’s security and environment, not to mention that it brews child labour in the city.
An article written on PM News described street trades as a phenomenon that promotes child trafficking, misuses of public open spaces, insecurity on the highways, environmental degradation and violation of human rights.