The state governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, said he awaits the approval of the bill by the state House of Assembly to legalize street hawking.
Ayade made his commitment known on Thursday while briefing newsmen at the Executive Chambers in Calabar, the state capital.
He said: “You cannot tell a man not to sell his goods on the streets because he cannot rent a store, yet you tell the man not to steal. Just provide a regulatory framework because to prohibit hawking is to tell a man that you don’t want him to eat.
“I have sent the Hawking Rights Bill to the House of Assembly to provide a regulatory framework that will provide the right to hawk. We are making provisions for a hawkers’ corridor.
“There must be a minimum age, you must be 18 and they must be seen to be properly dressed with reflective vests. They must have a time zone of when they come out, so as to be able to make optimal sales because we don’t want them to constitute nuisance in the environment.
“Prohibiting hawking is to tell a man that you don’t want to give him food, and you don’t also want him to steal, it is unfair.
“They have a right to determine how to live as long as it is within the ambit of the law. So, we are repealing anything that prohibits hawking in the state,” he added, noting that Cross Riverians have a right to make honest living within the ambit of the law.
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