The Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) has called on residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to assist the board in discouraging street hawking by not patronising hawkers.
In an interview with LEADERSHIP, the director of AEPB, Alhaji Baba Shehu Lawan, noted that residents who patronise hawkers are the ones encouraging street hawking in the territory.
Lawan, who spoke through the public relations officer (PRO) of the board, Muktar Ibrahim, disclosed that the biggest challenge the AEPB faces is how to remove hawkers from Abuja streets.
“It is like a vicious circle. The moment you remove them, it is either that new ones are coming back or that the freed ones are returning back to the same spot they were arrested. They seem not to understand the need to stay off unauthorised places to carry out their trade.”
He warned residents to stop patronizing streets hawkers, noting that even the materials they hawk in the traffic have no guarantee, because one cannot be sure that they are genuine materials, since the street is not an address of any shop.
He continued: “So, it has been a recurring problem and we are doing all we can to ensure that we really remove them out of these unauthorised places. It is not even good for our image as a first class capital city, which we aspire to become very soon. So, we expect that all stakeholders will understand the need not to patronise these hawkers we see on the streets.
It is a social menace that we have to tackle.”