Shutting Markets and Displacing Street Traders will Hurt the Lagos Economy

On the 29th of September 2023, the Lagos state government banned street trading and hawking in the state. In October 2023, the state government began shutting down markets. The government claims its actions ensure that Lagos maintains cleanliness and staves off criminality.

Street traders and hawkers form a vital part of Nigeria’s informal sector. According to International Labour Organization figures, the informal sector accounts for 93 percent of Nigeria’s employment. Similarly, the International Monetary Fund estimates that Nigeria’s informal sector contributes over 60 percent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. Therefore, shutting down markets and displacing hawkers and street traders due to environmental infractions or criminal activity would seriously damage the state’s economy and further impoverish its population. This practice also infringes on the fundamental rights of people simply trying to make a living honestly…..

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