In response to rising security challenges in its domain, particularly in Festac Town, Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State has barred operators of small businesses including club houses, restaurants, beer parlors and ‘joints’ from opening beyond 10p.m.
Festac Town, the headquarters of the local government, has been in the news in recent time for criminal activities ranging from murder, armed robbery, advance fee fraud (419), rape to kidnapping, making the fast-growing community unsafe for both residence and commerce.
At an interactive session with small business operators, security agencies and authorities of the local government, Ayodele Adewale, the local government chairman, implored the business operators to help government to protect them and their business.
The chairman also harped on the deplorable state of the environment in which these businesses operate, pointing out that some don’t have conveniences, making their customers urinate and defecate indiscriminately in their surroundings.
He also pointed out that some of the business outfits, especially club houses and restaurants use their sound systems in a way that is offensive to their neighbours and even passers-by.
He urged the business operators to bear with government in limiting their operating time to 10p.m, explaining that high level of insecurity has made that decision imperative and necessary.
The chairman stressed that his administration is not anti-business, disclosing that its partnership with Cowry Microfinance was for the purpose of advancing micro-credit to small business at 1.5 interest rate.
He told his audience that every society encourages night life, noting, however, that the proliferation of beer parlours with their security challenges threatens the peace of the community and so such night life has to be checked.
“The local government is in red in the state’s security report; a lady was murdered here by her facebook friends; there was an explosion under the link bridge not too long ago, and an expatriate was kidnapped here recently”, he said, urging the operators to be wary of people they call their customers.
Simon Iyam, a police officer, affirmed the chairman’s fears, adding that insecurity in Amuwo Odofin was getting out of hand.