Changing policy conversation around street vending in Nigeria

Impact: Public policy impacts, Social impacts, Environmental impacts, 01: No Poverty (UN SDG), 08: Decent Work and Economic Growth (UN SDG), 09: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure (UN SDG)

Description of impact

Eghosa Igudia’s research on the economics of the informal economy in Nigeria has changed the conversation amongst policy makers regarding regulations around street vending. Through his research with a variety of stakeholders in Lagos, including street hawkers and their patrons (see below), Igudia has influenced policy makers. The Ministry of Justice in Nigeria has informed Igudia that they are open to moving to a more flexible policy from one of exclusive criminalisation based on the outcomes of his continued research. Key to this will be the organisation of participants in the sector and integration of their views into policy decisions. Igudia’s research has already contributed a body of evidence regarding the views of stakeholders, and he has set up a research group at the University of Lagos to ensure that future fieldwork and analysis will help to shape policy outcomes more specifically.

Stakeholders/Beneficiaries

Stakeholders with whom I had meetings include:
1.) Lagos state Ministry of Justice
2.) Lagos state Ministry of commerce and industry
3.) Lagos state Ministry of women affairs and poverty reduction
4.) Lagos state Ministry of environment
5.) University of Lagos research group
6.) Taskforce and tribunal on street vending
7.) Members of the public

How have research outputs led to this impact?

Igudia's research has focused on street-vending and the informal economy in Nigeria. It has demonstrated that street vending provides economic opportunities for a large number of citizens in Nigeria, and he argues that the current government policy of criminalising the sector is not the best way forward. He calls for evidence based approaches to policy making that move beyond a blanket ban of informal activities (Igudia et. al, 2016). In particular, he has taken a demand-side (buyer-focused) approach in order to examine what factors lead patrons to frequent street-vendors as opposed to more formal marketplaces. The findings highlight the need for urban planners to embrace pragmatic policies in addressing demand-side drivers of street vending and use of urban space, rather than criminalising its actors (Igudia, 2019).
Impact statusOngoing
Impact date1 Mar 201931 Mar 2020
Category of impactPublic policy impacts, Social impacts, Environmental impacts, 01: No Poverty (UN SDG), 08: Decent Work and Economic Growth (UN SDG), 09: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure (UN SDG)