One Way to Handle the Lagos Hawking Issue

Source: https://www.naij.com/

The Ambode-led Lagos State Government recently announced the ban against street hawking in the State.

41 days after the announcement, the dust seems to have settled. Here, I relate an idea about how we can better handle the situation.

First, I must say that I am against the new policy. It will do much more harm than good. This post aims to provide a better strategy for managing the system, while curbing child hawking. Have a nice read.

IDEA IN A NUTSHELL

A thorough registration process for all hawkers across Lagos State.

WHY?

Check this out.

HOW?

The State Government will issue a deadline (say, 9 months) for all Lagos State hawkers to register.

WHAT?

The process will collate hawkers’ information such as:

  • Name,
  • State of Origin,
  • Age,
  • Area of operation etc.

FOR?

This will:

  • Give accurate information about the demographics of hawkers,
  • Effectively identify every hawker, and most importantly,
  • Reject hawkers that fall below the minimum age bar.

CHALLENGES

While I’m tempted to leave pointing out why this would not work to you, I guess I might as well point some out myself.

  • Corruption. Nigeria. Synonyms. Check here or here or there. History warns: the project funds will be embezzled, the facilities will not be bought and the project will fail.
  • Accurate information. How can we trust the information provided by the hawkers? How do we accurately determine age? What do we do then?
  • Sustainability. How would we handle ex-hawkers? Or new ones?

We cannot send all the tens of millions of hawkers off the streets of Lagos. At least, not in one go. The effect on the dependent families would be disastrous.

We can make a start. We can send the children off the streets. With the laudable Free Basic Education Scheme of Lagos State, the families supported by the hawkers will not suffer as much.

We must act wisely. The future of Lagos depends on it.


This is far from a finished idea, but we can mold it into something worthwhile. Together, we can end child hawking in Lagos.

Share your views, objections and suggestions in the comment section below.

Click on the green heart if you feel this is an idea worth sharing. Cheers!

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