ENUGU: Hawkers claim they pay levies, defile govt, take over streets

ENUGU: Hawkers claim they pay levies, defile govt, take over streets

water, Enugu

By Dennis Agbo


Hawkers have taken over major streets of the coal city, defiled all efforts by Enugu state government to sanitize the streets and contain them into organized markets in the state capital.

Despite calls from the Enugu Capital Territory Development Authority, ECTDA, in 2019 to clear the streets of containers and wheel barrow shops, the year 2020 witnessed astronomical rise in street trading with little or no effort made by the ECTDA to clear them due to the lamentations witnessed last year when the agency combated the nuisances.

The ECTDA had in December last year advertised public notices, warning that it will descend aggressively on street traders in 2020 if they did not clear themselves from the streets but with the covid-19 pandemic, the agency relaxed actions and the hawkers continued the illegal street trading.

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Areas worse hit in the renewed streets defacing include, the Holy Ghost, Old Park, Abakpa, Coal Camp, Uwani, Agbani road and Garriki. Wares that are freely sold on major roads and pedestrian ways include clothes, food stuffs, fruits, electronics and any other product readily available to the hawkers.

Some of the street traders interviewed said that it was because of lack of money to rent shops that made them convert the streets as shops, others said that it was for lack of spaces in the markets, while others said that some buyers prefer buying by the roads side than going into the markets to conduct transactions.

Pedestrians who spoke to Saturday Vanguard complained that the hawkers are a nuisance to the city once admired for sanity and good roads.

One Mr. Kelvin Orji complained that activities of the street traders bring about the blockage of drainages, obstructing water channels such that it causes flooding during rainy seasons. Orji said: “Another factor is that there is no expansion of Enugu metropolis. No administration has developed markets in the outskirts of Enugu since 1999. The state government will give excuse that it is the responsibility of the local governments to develop markets but the states take major share of the local government allocation, so where will they get money to carry out any project?


One of the hawkers at Holy Ghost area, who identified herself as Amaka said it was because of lack of money to rent a shop that made her hawk her second hand clothes along the road. She however revealed that the Enugu North local government council collects levies from them for using the roads as shops. Other levies allegedly collected from the street traders include environmental and Business Premises levies.

Another street trader, Fredrick Mamah said there was scarcity of shops in the markets which made some of them to come out to the roads to conduct trading. But the Chairman of Aria Market Traders Association at New market, Chief Gabriel Ani, said that even those who have shops inside the market, abandon the shops and bring their wares to sell on the roads. He said that not all the shops in the market were occupied and called for stringent measure to enforce ban on street trading.

Worried by the high rate at which street trading was fast spreading and becoming a norm in the metropolis; the state Government in 2016 issued warning to traders who had converted major roads and streets in the State to hawking areas to vacate the streets or face forceful eviction. The state government team that carried an on the spot assessment of the level of incursion into the roads by traders noted that Abakpa was the worst hit as almost all the streets within the market area have been turned to open shops, blocking them completely against traffic.

“This is quite a bad sight and it cannot stand. One can’t imagine a situation where roads have been completely turned to shops. These are all tarred roads but the traders have completely taken over; it is even hard to know that there are roads there. I don’t know how it got to this point,” said former commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Sam Ogbu-Nwobodo.


Chairman of ECTDA, Dr. Josef Onoh said that the agency has run out of patience in condoning the lawlessness of the street traders encouraged by agents of the three local government councils in the capital territory that allegedly collect levies from them to use the roads and pedestrian ways for trading.

Onoh said: “When it comes to development controls, we don’t approve containers littering the streets and we will continue removing them even if the person went to Enugu north or not and anybody paying them is doing that at his own risk. We do not collect money from any hawker and we don’t give them approval because they constitute nuisance and we will apply extreme development control measures in Enugu. We had allowed everything because of the hardship that Covid-19 brought, but after that, from January, it will no long be business as usual.”

The post ENUGU: Hawkers claim they pay levies, defile govt, take over streets appeared first on Vanguard News.

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