Lagos orders traders, beggars to vacate Agege rail tracks

The Lagos State Government and the Agege Local Government have ordered traders and beggars on rail tracks along the Agege corridor to vacate before strict enforcement and demolition.

At a stakeholders meeting on Sunday with illegal occupants, owners of shanties, traders, and those begging for alms on the rail tracks, the government told them to vacate the area with immediate effect.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pension, Afolabi Ayantayo, in his remarks at the meeting, charged the occupants of the shanties to vacate the rail lines before the enforcement would commence.

“It has come to our notice that various criminal activities are being carried out along the rail corridor. We learnt that the shanties are harbouring criminals attacking passers-by and residents at night.

“The government has invested a lot of money in the rail project and we don’t want anybody to sabotage and deface the infrastructure, that’s why we are educating and warning the people involved to vacate the area before enforcements begin. I am calling on the police to face this task seriously,” he said.

The commissioner also appealed to the community and market leaders to enlighten their residents and traders to shun trading on the railway lines to avoid being arrested by a joint enforcement team to be set up soon.

While appreciating the local government for organising the meeting on behalf of the Lagos State Government, Ayantayo begged those concerned to abide by the directive of the government.

The Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, recalled that he had been at the rail corridor to sensitise residents to proper sanitation and avoid the rail track when trading.

Obasa, who was represented by a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly Representing Agege II Constituency, Jubril AbdulKareem, said the government would come with full force to demolish the shanties after the stakeholders meeting.

“We need to understand the reason the government is doing this enforcement. It is for our safety and for our benefits.

“The railway is for the benefit of the people not for trading; and the bridges are not meant for begging or commercial purposes.

Earlier, the Chairman of Agege Local Government, Ganiyu Egunjobi, said enforcing and holding people accountable for their actions would now be the priority of the government at the railway line.

Egunjobi maintained that community police would join hands with the police to arrest the perpetrators.

“It’s important to emphasise sanitation and the value chain of dangers attached to street trading, indiscriminate dumping of refuse, illegal structures open defecation, and other criminal activities along the corridor.

“Our main focus is to provide a healthy environment for everyone, to protect the infrastructure and resources and to provide security and dignity of the residents,” he said.

The council chairman added that the local government was committed to partnering with the state in bringing out the aesthetic value of the environment by greening the railway corridors.

Responding, market and community leaders at the meeting appreciated the state and local government for the warning, adding that they would abide by the new directive.

The PUNCH reported in July 2023 that The Lagos State Task Force said it cleared rail tracks in the Agege area of the metropolis, as part of its exercise to restore sanity along the railway corridors of the state.

In September, the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, issued a two-day ultimatum to traders selling their wares on train tracks to vacate, stressing that traders who ignore the warning will have their wares seized after the ultimatum. https://www.google.com/amp/s/punchng.com/sanwo-olu-gives-traders-two-day-ultimatum-to-vacate-train-tracks/?amp

It appears the efforts by the government have not succeeded in stopping the traders from occupying the rail tracks.

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