Street hawking has become a lucrative business in Nigeria; the business is mostly done by poor or low income earner who cannot afford to rent a shop in the market place or in a shopping mall. Hawking involves selling commodities in the street or by road side to the final consumers. Any child in Nigeria who has never hawk commodity in the street of Nigeria must have been born into a wealthy or middle class family.
Street hawking is mostly done by poor people as a means of livelihood. Many families survive by the commodities their children hawk in the street, in market places or by road side.
Hawking as a business poses a lots of dangers to the life of those hawkers most especially the way the business is been carried out.Hawking is a mobile business done by both old and young people as a means of survival. Many parents don’t find it easy sending their kids out to hawk after school hours.
But they do it in order to save money for the family needs and for the children school fees. Nigeria is a blessed nation with crude oil in quantum and solid minerals in excess, but the inability of the leaders of Nigeria to put those minerals in good use for the good of all Nigeria citizens has made many people to look for any available means of survival.
Many uneducated Nigerians with little or no skills always sort to hawking as a means of survival. The cost of running hawking business is quite cheap compare to the amount spent when renting a shop.
Those who hawk in the street or by roadside doesn’t think of the dangers they expose their lives to. Even those who knew of those dangers tend to overlook it due to lack of fund to start a more lucrative business.
Accessing government fund/grant is never an easy task. Some times when government releases funds it never get to the rural poor people that are in dire need of it. Despite of all these, street hawking poses a lots of dangers in the life of little pupil and it should be discouraged.
- Kidnap/rape: children are easily kidnapped in the process of running hawking business for their parents or guardians. Many girls who sell commodities in the street are in danger of being raped by touts in the street.
- Rituals: girls who hawk banana always fall victim of being used for rituals. When you send your child out to hawk, some of them come back late at night, were they were busy looking for buyers and cannot afford to come back home with their goods unsold. Due to the urge to please their parents, some of them come back very late at night in order to finish their goods. Then, making themselves preys to ritual men’s.
- Road accidents: God has been the one saving the young and old, when they run around in the main road trying to sell their goods. Those sellers can be easily hit by vehicle on the course of selling their commodities.
Government should look for a better ways to engage these street traders, without that, passing legislation to stop street trading will never succeed. Even if you send a full battalion to watch the street, once the soldiers leave, the business (street hawking) will kick start again automatically.
It’s high time our leaders understand the real meaning of government and governance. And if you find yourself too myopic to handle the affairs of the nation, hand the banner to another person. This country must not be allowed to collapse to oblivion; government should stand up to its responsibility of providing a good life to her citizens.