Market women and informal traders in Lagos contribute massively to the urban economy of the city; through payment of various taxes and levies but also through sustaining transport, construction, food and other sectors, even in times of deep recession. They contribute their share to the internally generated revenue and therefore should expect in return social services in form of local infrastructure, access to low interest credit etc.
For many years they have been waiting in vain – on the contrary. In July 2016, Lagos State Government implemented a complete ban for street vendors who often lost their wares and livelihoods when they were pursued by numerous task forces. At the same time, the destruction of long-established markets continued as a way of creating space for private investments.
This research amongst informal traders in Lagos by BudgIT intends to quantify the informal sector’s contribution – although reliable figures are difficult to obtain when a government doesn’t supply disaggregated data. The report is meant to make market women and traders aware that they are not petitioners pleading for charity. Considering their substantive contributions to the urban economy they rather have the right to demand for social services which will facilitate their economic advancement.