The Lagos State Government has begun the protection of all monumental arcades from street traders, hawkers and other environmental nuisances across the state.
The Head, Public Affairs Unit, Lagos State Task Force, Adebayo Taofiq, said in a statement on Monday that the monuments were cultural heritage and played other important roles.
“They are to preserve cultural heritage and also to serve as achieves for academic research; others are provided just for relaxation and are named after heroes of this country.
“The Tinubu Arcade which was re-constructed by the incumbent administration is named after Madam Efunroje Tinubu (1810 -1887), a female aristocrat and trader during the 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 blocked road setbacks and walkways constructed around the arcade,’’ the statement said.
It added that the government was ready to use the full strength of the law in dissuading street trading in and around the monuments.
“The operatives of the Lagos State Task Force, led by the Chairman, Olayinka Egbeyemi, dislodged street traders/hawkers with officials of Kick Against Indiscipline ‘KAI’ around Tinubu Monumental Arcade located at Lagos Island Local Government Area of the state.
“The Chairman disclosed that environmental nuisances, particularly street trading/hawking around Tinubu Square and all other monumental arcades, provided by Governor Akinwumi Ambode is worrisome.
“SP Egbeyemi, further discloses that the agency will 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 enjoins market leaders across the state to warn traders and hawkers to immediately stop displaying and selling their wares besides and around all monumental arcades provided by the government.
“The traders are advised not to extend their trading activities beyond areas strictly earmarked for market by the government.
“Anyone arrested selling on road setbacks and walkways across the state will be charge to environmental courts and have their wares confiscated,’’ the statement said.
It added that the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences Unit (Task Force) had relocated from Ikeja to Multi-purpose Agency complex, Bolade, Oshodi, opposite the Arena complex.
According to the statement, the relocation which equally affected some other government agencies is meant to strengthen their operations.
“Other government agencies affected by the relocation includes Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), KAI, Nigeria Legion and 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 gymnasium and fire station etc,’’ the statement