Government Clamps Down On Alcohol Sellers, Street Traders at Parks

The Lagos State Government, through the Lagos Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC), has insisted on a total clampdown on alcohol sales, street trading and hawking on roadsides, setbacks, medians, major highways, parks and garages.

This is as the state government has vowed to sustain its on-going enforcement operations against these environmental defaulters in the state as part of its renewed efforts towards ridding Lagos metropolis of this menace.

This was contained in a statement by the Corps Marshal of LAGESC, CP Gbemisola Akinpelu (rtd), who pointed out that street trading on roadsides, pedestrian bridges, setbacks, medians and hawking on major highways constituted a violation of the state environmental laws which established illegality of these acts.

Akinpelu expressed the determination of the agency to clamp down on all environmental defaulters, especially those displaying alcohol for sale at Lagos parks and garages. She vowed that the LAGESC enforcement drive would be consolidated, adding that there was no hiding place for street traders and hawkers in the state.She also remarked that the on-going enforcement against hawkers of alcohol in the state’s parks had been positive, stating that the agency had made numerous arrests, just as it was able to secure the arraignments and sentences of suspects by the courts.

Admonishing street traders and hawkers to steer clear of Lagos roads, the corps marshal issued directives to the agency’s special squad to increase the enforcement drive by apprehending defaulters for arraignment on daily basis and their seized wares be placed in the agency’s storage facility.

She further revealed that the state environmental laws provided for the onward distribution of seized perishable goods to orphanage homes on daily basis and non-perishables be kept in storage until a court order was secured for public auction whilst generated proceeds were remitted to the state coffers.

The Lagos State Government had always maintained its opposition to the sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks by motorists at parks, and roadsides.

The state government and agencies like the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) had sustained campaigns against drinking and driving in a bid to curb road accidents. The campaign has been premised on the fact that taking alcoholic drinks before or while driving predisposes drivers to the possibility of having road accidents. But quite a number of drivers have not heeded the warnings of the campaign.

This habit by commercial vehicle drivers is also being encouraged by the continued sale of alcoholic drinks in different sizes in parks across the states despite its ban.

LAGSEC had a few weeks ago seized alcoholic drinks worth millions of naira during a recent raid on parks and garages in the state, with the government expressing concern over the alarming rate of liquor drinks sale in garages, motor parks, roadsides and in traffic.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government had a few days ago, read the riot act to street traders in the state, especially on the Third Mainland Bridge and Eko Bridge, declaring zero tolerance for street trading in the areas and vowing to prosecute violators in mobile courts.

The Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Gaji Omobolaji Tajudeen, had maintained that the action by the state government is in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S. Agenda of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to promote a cleaner and more aesthetic environment in Lagos, ensure total enforcement of the environmental sanitation laws, and create a safer State for all.

Akinpelu also highlighted the continuous need for pedestrians to use strategically-erected pedestrian bridges across major highways in the State to avoid being knocked down by over-speeding motorists.