Friday, January 06, 2006

The banning of street trading in Lagos

The news that the Lagos State Govt has given street traders a 14 day ultimatum to stop their business in the interests of beautifying the State is yet one more outburst of fantasy politics. Where are these people supposed to go? How are they supposed to find an alternative means of living? No doubt a certain percentage will be forced to turn to crime, armed robbery etc. in a city which has security issues already. Until the State and Federal Govt develop serious job-creation strategies that involve the informal sector and tap into its incredible self-organising capacity, along the lines of the thesis of De Soto's revolutionary text The Mystery of Capital, gestures in the direction of making Lagos a pretty place by outlawing street trade/okadas etc etc will end in failure.


Nkem 6:15 am  

It is ridiculous. It happens all the time, useless governors thinking that they can clean up a state by evicting people without compensation. The history of modern Lagos is incomplete without Maroko which was destroyed to make way for VI extension, abode of the moneyed elite. It's a typically Nigerian response - point out the problem, but offer no viable solution.

Teju Cole 4:43 pm  

And fortunately for the oppressors, Yoruba people enjoy life too much to even contemplate revolution.

As long as owambes are not proscribed, people will put up with almost anything.

The street traders are slightly annoying sometimes, but they are very far from being the biggest problem Lagos has to deal with.

pamela,  11:40 pm  

Its the same window dressing/fire brigade mentality all over again. Never hit the root just keep in motion...dont matter where to
Think about Abuja.... Im sure the place is far more dangerous after smashing an entire market without an alternative... we did have this conversation at nicks.....

Chxta 7:07 am  

They've been banning street traders for as long as I remember now in Lagos. They'll be back...

femi 12:57 pm  

those street traders need to move back to their villages and farm.

lagos is a city not a village.

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