The Ebonyi State Government, on Wednesday, clamped down on petty traders along the major roads and streets in Abakaliki, impounding their wares and evicting them from the spots.
The state Commissioner for Environment, Mr Donatus Njoku, told journalists during the exercise that the measure was to enforce government directive on zero tolerance for roadside trading.
Njoku, accompanied by two technical assistants to Gov. Dave Umahi on Environment, and task force officials,
decried the spate of illegal blocking of some major roads by traders.
He said that the ministry was committed to putting an end to the menace.
“The ministry will, henceforth, embark on daily enforcement of the ban on roadside trading especially along the major roads and streets in Abakaliki to protect the environment from degradation.
“It is an offence under the new Environmental Law of Ebonyi for anybody to cause obstruction to human and vehicular movements by intentionally blocking parts of the road to carry out commercial activities.
“The action, apart from creating human and vehicular traffic, also poses a risk to the lives of traders and commuters who stand the risk of being knocked down.
“We gave the affected traders a period of grace to move into government-designated markets and we are here to monitor compliance and enforce the policy.
“We have impounded the wares of those who have contravened the government policy and they can only have their commodities after payment of specified fines at designated banks.”
Njoku urged residents to support the ongoing urban renewal programme of the present administration by keeping their environment and surroundings clean.
He also appealed to them to shun acts capable of damaging the aesthetics of the capital city.
The team monitored and evicted illegal roadside traders along Gunning and New market roads, Awka and Ojowere streets as well as Abacha roundabout, among others. (NAN)