Saturday, July 18, 2015

turning most citizens into criminals

Now that he's governor of Nigeria's Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, the former chief administrator of Abuja, is leading a drive against street vendors.

So far, the vendors are bravely resisting, reports The Daily Independent.

As Mansur Abdulhamid, a young Kaduna vendor, tells the paper, "Will driving away traders from the streets solve the security and economic situation in the state? Look at me, I have to hustle daily to meet with demands at home from my aged parents, rent and feeding and this include saving something little for my education."

The governor must know that street vending and hawking and other System D activities are the dominant way that people in all over Nigeria survive. It has been estimated that more than two-thirds of the working-age people in Nigeria earn their money off the books. That makes System D the majority economy. It's time for politicians to understand that, if they outlaw street trading, they make criminals of most citizens.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Will those who know the truth about the Ladipo demolition please tell us

Something happened at 5,000-merchant-strong Ladipo Market, Lagos, Nigeria's famed auto spare parts mall, a few weeks back. But exactly what is hard to tell from afar.

On July 1, newspapers reported that the local and state governments had, without warning, moved in to demolish the market. The following day, government officials denied that story, suggesting that they were working on a redevelopment plan to improve the streets in the market.

Two days after that, traders totaled their losses at 100 million naira - or around half a million US dollars. They argued that government thugs, working with the police, had looted their products. Some observers suggested that the state government was engaging in a political vendetta against market leaders who had supported a rival party. Others argued that this was a tribal clash.

A few days later, the dispute was still festering. And at the start of this week, the market association hired a lawyer, presumably to advance their case in court and to lobby for them with the government.

I have seen a number of photos purporting to show the demolition, but none of them have shown the extent of the action.

So will someone who knows what really is going on please explain...