By Alex Olise
Market men and women selling various wares as well as foodstuff and other items across Lagos State metropolis are currently bitter with the state authorities who have been using the state task force on environmental sanitation to intimidate them .
The officials of the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Task Force has been creating nightmare for traders in the Lagos State metropolis over a decade since the last government headed by Babatunde Fashola who established the office first as Kick Against Indiscipline to Environmental Corps.
National Daily investigation had revealed that due to the too many complaints of seizure of goods, the criminal minded officials have now introduced the collection of N500 every Friday from traders selling along the road as a requirement to avoid being arrested by the officials. Only those traders that failed to comply with the payment of N500 will face the wrath of the officials.
Over 26 traders who spoke to National Daily at Ikeja, Iyana-Ipaja, Oshodi, Obalende and Ketu-Mile 12 area of the state confirmed that the new language is pay N500 every Friday to the point man of the task force and do your business hitch-free anywhere.
But reacting to the allegation a top official of the task force team who spoke on condition of anonymity said the allegation is untrue but agreed with our reporter that most members of the task force team collect bribes from traders and gaywalkers.
“Yes we have bad eggs in our midst they engage in collecting bribe which is illegal we are looking out for them and any one caught will be shown the way out and will also be punished accordingly,” he said.
“Most of our officials are facing prosecution for selling people goods and property without approval from our head of operations” he added.
A trader at Iyana-Ipaja, Mrs. Bola Ojo confirmed the N500 payment. She said it is a must except you don’t want to trade that week.
Another male trader, Mr. Boniface Ike who sells shoes at Ikeja along close to the Ikeja Local Government also claimed to be paying N500 alongside others to ensure he does his business for that week.
According to another trader, Mrs. Theresa Akpan who sells bread at Oshodi “the law now is that ensure you pay N500 every weekend to the task force point man and do your business hitch free.
National Daily witnessed a scenario at IPodo market in Ikeja where the task force team parked their vehicle, and were collecting tolls at the weekend.
And when asked, the traders confirmed that it is the new order but illegal as it is done secretly to avoid being harassed.