Anambra Street Traders, Hawkers Risk Two Weeks Jail


By David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

Anambra State government has warned that those who contravene the ban on hawking and street trading in the state would get two weeks jail term and N10,000 fine if caught.

Mr. Mike Okonkwo, the state commissioner for Environment, beautification and ecology told THISDAY, yesterday, during an interview session in his office.

The commissioner said his ministry had already sent a proposal to the office of the governor of the state, Chief Willie Obiano, marshalling out modalities for the full implementation of the Anambra State street trading restriction law 2004.

He said, “Following the on-going operation, no street trading in Anambra, with a view to providing a sustainable solution  to the problem and to ensure clean and healthy Anambra, the ministry has already proposed measures for review and approval to the governor.

“The ministry shall work in synergy with local government, trade unions and security services and shall appoint reputable persons into its task force, which would be authorised with the duty of preventing the circumvention of the law which prohibits display of goods for sale, or trading on roadsides and in unauthorised structures, except in markets and designated places.

“We shall apprehend, arrest defaulters, and they shall be subjected to fine of N10,000 and two weeks imprisonment per offense,” the commissioner said.

Speaking on the recent demolition of structures termed ‘illegal’ by the ministry and its task force in major towns in the state, Okonkwo said the aim was to stop those who erect shanties by the roadside, thereby defacing the outlook of the state.

He insisted that the traders were adequately notified before the demolition exercise, adding that it was untrue that traders who left their wares in their shops had them looted by members of his team.

The commissioner called on roadside traders to take their wares to designated places of trading like markets and shopping malls, as trading in places not authorized for such would attract serious consequences.