Lagos State Task Force has commenced a move to protect all monumental arcades across the state from abuse by street traders and hawkers. Spokesman of the Lagos State Task Force, Adebayo Taofeek told The Guardian 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 Nigeria.
“The ‘Tinubu Arcade’, which was re-constructed by the present administration, was named after Madam Efunroje Tinubu (1810 – 1887), a female aristocrat and a female trader during pre-colonial and 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.
“The operatives of the Lagos State Task Force led by the Chairman Olayinka Egbeyemi dislodged the street traders in collaboration with officials of Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) at ‘Tinubu Monumental Arcade’ located at Lagos Island Local Council.”
The Chairman, Egbeyemi disclosed that environmental nuisances, particularly street trading around Tinubu Square and all other ‘Monumental Arcades’ provided by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is worrisome.
Egbeyemi further noted that the agency would strictly implement the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Laws on any arrested street traders abusing the environment.
He enjoined market leaders across the state to warn traders and hawkers to quit displaying and selling wares beside and around all monumental arcades erected by the government.
He, however, advised traders not to extend their trading activities beyond areas strictly marked 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 their wares confiscated.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences Unit (Task Force ) has relocated from Alausa, Ikeja to Multi-purpose Agency complex, Bolade, Oshodi.
According to government, the relocation, which affected some other government agencies, was meant to strengthen 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 agencies, the government provided them with social amenities such as electricity, a standard food canteen, a gymnasium and fire station.