Vol. 6, Issue 3 (2020)
The socio-legal and economic implications of street vending prohibitive laws in major cities in Nigeria
Author(s): Akuchie Henry A
Abstract: Intellectual debates on the best perception of the informal economy and street trading in particular which is based on inclusion or exclusion positions in public policies, creates impacts on urban land use and sustainable development. It has been seen from the point of legality or illegality, categorization, economic roles and negative environmental impacts which can be established in literatures around the world even though Nigerian case studies are scanty. Informal street vendors tend to be negatively labeled as "illegal", "dirty", and "transitory." In direct opposition to the so-called modernizing aims of cities, informal street vending is also seen as "primitive" or "traditional" as if the huge numbers of people who work as street vendors across the world have not caught up with modern times. These labels, however, disregard the fact that those who street vend, often do so for long hours of the day, run the fear of fines and confiscation of their goods, and work within public space, to survive and support themselves and their families. This paper is an attempt to investigate the values and vices of street trading. Attempts by the government in the past through legislation to deal with the situation has proved abortive. This may not be unconnected with the non-inclusive approaches to solving the problem. The current situation intelligently suggests that inclusive principles and practical application of postmodernism theory should guide the solution to street trading problem in our cities in order to completely eliminate its vices or reduce it while benefiting from its values.