Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Computer Village attacked
The Lagos State Government has attacked the street traders at Computer Village, Next reports.
There's no allegation that the street sellers at the market are unscrupulous or criminal. Only the Governor's uncompromising devotion to wiping out street selling.
This puts merchants in a serious bind. They have lost their investment -- often given to them on credit by more-established businesses in the market -- but are so desperate for work that they will probably return to the street despite the risk. "The things they took away were given to me to start market, and they have seized everything," one vendor told the paper. "And government did not create employment for us, so people will start looking for job again." As a mobile phone salesman put it, "We cannot steal so we’ve been trying to earn a honest living, but it’s been made difficult by the government."
Lagos Governor Babatunde Fashola is doing nothing about the real corruption, which involves the area boys -- a cadre of strong-arming thugs who are in league with the officials of the local government (a community political structure) -- who are extorting money from the street traders. But he has turned the hopeful street entrepreneurs at Computer Village into criminals.
What is the sense of that?