If you live in Lagos State, can you remember the last time you went to a shop to buy gala?
Please pause here and rack your brain, think well for about 2 minutes? Can you come up with an answer? Nah! I thought so. Some Lagosians have not bought gala in a shop for more than 15 years. It just does not feel right to walk into a shop to purchase gala. We rather do it on the road, in a tight traffic situation and this has encouraged the street hawkers. What of the street hawkers’ contribution to the economy? Have you heard of the saying that “You can practically cook a pot of soup in Lagos traffic jam” Well, that’s the thing with this Anti Street Hawking Law in Lagos State, the greatest losers are the hawkers who make their livelihood from their daily sales. Then ranking next is UAC which makes millions of naira from the sale of gala on the roads, can you imagine how many people eat gala on a daily basis due to the traffic and the affordability of gala and a drink. Even in the light of the economic crunch and the poverty distribution by the Buhari administration, gala did not increase its price. It remained static and whether its quality diminished or not is a discussion for another day.
Can the ban on street hawking work? Has it come to stay, or is it merely a visitor who has come for a vacation? Can UAC maximize its profit from the sale of galas from shops. I don’t think so and in as much as everyone knows Governor Ambode means good for implementing the law in the wake of the death of a street hawker about a month ago. We do not think the law can be strictly implemented. And if at all our analysis is not prove enough, it will interest you to know that there are still hawkers out there, FMB took some pictures below for all to see.
Written By Flora & Ngo-Martins Okonmah