International Development Planning Review

The aftermath of eviction in the Nigerian informal economy

International Development Planning Review (2019), 41, (1), 107–128.

Abstract

This article examines the mechanisms through which street traders claim and maintain access to urban space in the aftermath of eviction – a phenomenon that affects poor urban workers across the global South. Whilst much is known about the immediate impacts of evictions, there has been limited consideration of the post-eviction, longer-term responses of traders. Drawing on primary research in Lagos, Nigeria, this article analyses street trader responses to eviction, with a focus on their strategies for claiming access to space. The study highlights the importance of both individual and collective actions in re-establishing a foothold in public space. However, maintaining access to public space proved to be more problematic, with collective action severely diminished through the co-option of trader associations by urban authorities. This new knowledge has the potential to strengthen the resilience of traders to future evictions and their potentially devastating impacts.

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Brown, A. (2017) ‘Claiming the streets: reframing property rights for the urban informal economy’, in A. Brown (ed.) Rebel streets and the informal economy: street trade and the law, New York and Abingdon, Routledge, 77–93. Claiming the streets: reframing property rights for the urban informal economy Rebel streets and the informal economy: street trade and the law 77 93 Google Scholar

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Brown, A. and Smith, A. (2016) Topic guide: livelihoods and urbanisation, London, Department for International Development, https://www.gov.uk/dfid-research-outputs/topic-guide-livelihoods-and-urbanisation (accessed 10 June 2017). Google Scholar

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Crossa, V. (2009) ‘Resisting the entrepreneurial city: street vendors’ struggle in Mexico City’s historic centre’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 33(1), 43–63. Resisting the entrepreneurial city: street vendors’ struggle in Mexico City’s historic centre International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 33 43 63 Google Scholar

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Filani, M. (2012) The changing face of Lagos: from vision to reform and transformation, Ibaden, Cities Alliance. The changing face of Lagos: from vision to reform and transformation Google Scholar

Fourchard, L. (2010) ‘Lagos, Koolhaas and partisan politics in Nigeria’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, (35)1, 40–56. Lagos, Koolhaas and partisan politics in Nigeria International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 1 40 56 Google Scholar

Gore, C. and Pratten, D. (2003) ‘The politics of plunder: the rhetorics of order and disorder in Southern Nigeria’, African Affairs, 102, 211–40. The politics of plunder: the rhetorics of order and disorder in Southern Nigeria African Affairs 102 211 40 Google Scholar

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ILO (International Labour Office) (2013) Women and men in the informal economy: a statistical picture, Geneva, International Labour Office, 20–22. Google Scholar

King, R. (2006) ‘Fulcrum of the urban economy: governance and street livelihoods in Kumasi, Ghana’, in Brown (ed.), Contested space, 99–118. Fulcrum of the urban economy: governance and street livelihoods in Kumasi, Ghana Contested space 99 118 Google Scholar

Kinyanjui, M. (2014) Women and the informal economy in urban Africa: from the margins to the centre, London, Zed Books. Women and the informal economy in urban Africa: from the margins to the centre Google Scholar

Koolhaas, R., Belanger, P., Chung, C., Comaroff, J., Cosmas, M., Gandhi, S., Hamilton, A., Ip, L., Kim, J., Shepard, G., Singh, R., Slayton, N., Stone, J. and Wahba, S. (2000) ‘Lagos, Harvard project on the city’, in R. Koolhaas et al. (eds) Mutations, événement culturel sur la ville contemporaine, Bordeaux, Arc en Rêve, Centre d’architecture, 651–719. Lagos, Harvard project on the city Mutations, événement culturel sur la ville contemporaine 651 719 Google Scholar

Lindell, I. (2010) ‘Introduction: the changing politics of informality – collective organizing, alliances and scales of engagement’, in I. Lindell (ed.) Africa’s informal workers: collective agency, alliances and transnational organizing in urban Africa, London, Zed Books, 1–30. Introduction: the changing politics of informality – collective organizing, alliances and scales of engagement Africa’s informal workers: collective agency, alliances and transnational organizing in urban Africa 1 30 Google Scholar

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LSG (Lagos State Government) (2013) Lagos state development plan 2012–2025, Lagos, Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget. Google Scholar

LSG (Lagos State Government) and UN-Habitat (2004) State of the Lagos megacity and other Nigerian cities, Report, Lagos, Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning & Budget. Google Scholar

Lyons, M. and Msoka, C. (2010) ‘The World Bank and the street: (how) do “doing business” reforms affect Tanzania’s micro-traders?’ Urban Studies, 47(5), 1079–97. The World Bank and the street: (how) do “doing business” reforms affect Tanzania’s micro-traders? Urban Studies 47 1079 97 Google Scholar

Mackie, P., Bromley, R. and Brown, A. (2014) ‘Informal traders and the battlegrounds of revanchism in Cusco, Peru’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38(5), 1884–1903. Informal traders and the battlegrounds of revanchism in Cusco, Peru International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 38 1884 1903 Google Scholar

Mackie, P., Swanson, K. and Goode, R. (2017) ‘Reclaiming space: street trading and revanchism in Latin America’, in Brown (ed.), Rebel streets, 63–76. Reclaiming space: street trading and revanchism in Latin America Rebel streets 63 76 Google Scholar

Meagher, K. (2010) Identity economics: social networks and the informal economy in Nigeria, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Identity economics: social networks and the informal economy in Nigeria Google Scholar

Middleton, A. (2003) ‘Informal traders and planners in the regeneration of historic city centres: the case of Quito, Ecuador’, Progress in Planning, 59(2), 71–123. Informal traders and planners in the regeneration of historic city centres: the case of Quito, Ecuador Progress in Planning 59 71 123 Google Scholar

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Njaya, T. (2014) ‘Challenges of negotiating sectoral governance of street vending sector in Harare Metropolitan, Zimbabwe’, Asian Journal of Economic Modelling, 2(2), 69–84. Challenges of negotiating sectoral governance of street vending sector in Harare Metropolitan, Zimbabwe Asian Journal of Economic Modelling 2 69 84 Google Scholar

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Omuta, G. (1986) ‘The urban informal sector and environmental sanitation in Nigeria: the needless conflict’, Habitat International, 10(3), 179–87. The urban informal sector and environmental sanitation in Nigeria: the needless conflict Habitat International 10 179 87 Google Scholar

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Perera, L. and Amin, A. (1996) ‘Accommodating the informal sector: a strategy for urban environmental management’, Journal of Environmental Management, 46, 3–15. Accommodating the informal sector: a strategy for urban environmental management Journal of Environmental Management 46 3 15 Google Scholar

Potts, D. (2007) The state and the informal in sub-Saharan African urban economies: revisiting debates on dualism, Crisis States Working Paper Series, no. 2, London, London School of Economics and Political Science. The state and the informal in sub-Saharan African urban economies: revisiting debates on dualism Google Scholar

Sethuraman, S. (1981) ‘The role of the urban informal sector’, in S. Sethuraman (ed.) The urban informal sector in developing countries: employment, poverty and environment, Geneva, International Labour Organisation, 3–47. The role of the urban informal sector The urban informal sector in developing countries: employment, poverty and environment 3 47 Google Scholar

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Skinner, C. (2008b) ‘Street trade in Africa: a review’, Working paper, No 5, Cambridge, MA, WIEGO. Street trade in Africa: a review Google Scholar

Skinner, C. (2009) ‘Challenging city imaginaries: street traders’ struggles in Warwick Junction’, Agenda: Empowering Women for Gender Equity, 81, 101–09. Challenging city imaginaries: street traders’ struggles in Warwick Junction Agenda: Empowering Women for Gender Equity 81 101 09 Google Scholar

Skinner, C. (2017) ‘Law and litigation in street trader livelihoods: Durban, South Africa’, in Brown (ed.), Rebel streets, 125–42. Law and litigation in street trader livelihoods: Durban, South Africa Rebel streets 125 42 Google Scholar

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Basinski, S. (2009) All fingers are not equal: a report on street vendors in Lagos, Nigeria, Lagos, CLEEN Foundation. All fingers are not equal: a report on street vendors in Lagos Google Scholar

Bhowmik, S. (2005) ‘Street vendors in Asia: a review’, Economic and Political Weekly, 40(22–23), 2256–64. Street vendors in Asia: a review Economic and Political Weekly 40 2256 64 Google Scholar

Bromley, R. D. F. (1998) ‘Informal commerce: expansion and exclusion in the historic centre of the Latin American city’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 22(2), 245–63. Informal commerce: expansion and exclusion in the historic centre of the Latin American city International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 22 245 63 Google Scholar

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Brown, A. (2006) Contested space: street trading, public space and livelihoods in developing cities, Rugby, ITDG Publishing. Contested space: street trading, public space and livelihoods in developing cities Google Scholar

Brown, A. (2017) ‘Claiming the streets: reframing property rights for the urban informal economy’, in A. Brown (ed.) Rebel streets and the informal economy: street trade and the law, New York and Abingdon, Routledge, 77–93. Claiming the streets: reframing property rights for the urban informal economy Rebel streets and the informal economy: street trade and the law 77 93 Google Scholar

Brown, A. and Mackie, P. K. (2017) ‘Urban informality and rebel streets’, in Brown (ed.), Rebel streets, 1–16. Urban informality and rebel streets Rebel streets 1 16 Google Scholar

Brown, A. and Roever, S. (2016) Enhancing productivity in the urban informal economy Project report, Nairobi, UN-Habitat. Enhancing productivity in the urban informal economy Google Scholar

Brown, A. and Smith, A. (2016) Topic guide: livelihoods and urbanisation, London, Department for International Development, https://www.gov.uk/dfid-research-outputs/topic-guide-livelihoods-and-urbanisation (accessed 10 June 2017). Google Scholar

Brown, A., Lyons, M. and Dankoco, I. (2009) ‘Street traders and the emerging spaces for urban voice and citizenship in African cities’, Urban Studies, 47(3), 666–83. Street traders and the emerging spaces for urban voice and citizenship in African cities Urban Studies 47 666 83 Google Scholar

Brown, A., Msoka, C. and Dankoco, I. (2014) ‘A refugee in my own country: evictions or property rights in the urban informal economy’, Urban Studies, 52(12), 2234–49. A refugee in my own country: evictions or property rights in the urban informal economy Urban Studies 52 2234 49 Google Scholar

Carrieri, A. and Murta, I. (2011) ‘Cleaning up the city: a study on the removal of street vendors from downtown Belo Horizonte, Brazil’, Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, 28(2), 217–25. Cleaning up the city: a study on the removal of street vendors from downtown Belo Horizonte, Brazil Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences 28 217 25 Google Scholar

Cross, J. C. (1998) Informal politics: street vendors and the state in Mexico City, Stanford, CA, Stanford University Press. Informal politics: street vendors and the state in Mexico City Google Scholar

Crossa, V. (2009) ‘Resisting the entrepreneurial city: street vendors’ struggle in Mexico City’s historic centre’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 33(1), 43–63. Resisting the entrepreneurial city: street vendors’ struggle in Mexico City’s historic centre International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 33 43 63 Google Scholar

Daniels, P. (2004) ‘Urban challenges: the formal and informal economies in mega-cities’, Cities, 21(6), 501–11. Urban challenges: the formal and informal economies in mega-cities Cities 21 501 11 Google Scholar

Dankoco, I. and Brown, A. (2017) ‘Commerce of the street in Sénégal: between illegality and tolerance’, in Brown (ed.), Rebel streets, 165–82. Commerce of the street in Sénégal: between illegality and tolerance Rebel streets 165 82 Google Scholar

De Soto, H. (1989) The other path: the economic answer to terrorism, New York, Harper Collins. The other path: the economic answer to terrorism Google Scholar

Donovan, M. (2008) ‘Informal cities and the contestation of public space: the case of Bogota’s street vendors, 1988–2003’, Urban Studies, 45(1), 29–51. Informal cities and the contestation of public space: the case of Bogota’s street vendors, 1988–2003 Urban Studies 45 29 51 Google Scholar

Economist (2017) ‘Unfree trade: cracking down on African street vendors, messy but vital’, The Economist, 4 February 2017. Unfree trade: cracking down on African street vendors, messy but vital The Economist Google Scholar

Filani, M. (2012) The changing face of Lagos: from vision to reform and transformation, Ibaden, Cities Alliance. The changing face of Lagos: from vision to reform and transformation Google Scholar

Fourchard, L. (2010) ‘Lagos, Koolhaas and partisan politics in Nigeria’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, (35)1, 40–56. Lagos, Koolhaas and partisan politics in Nigeria International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 1 40 56 Google Scholar

Gore, C. and Pratten, D. (2003) ‘The politics of plunder: the rhetorics of order and disorder in Southern Nigeria’, African Affairs, 102, 211–40. The politics of plunder: the rhetorics of order and disorder in Southern Nigeria African Affairs 102 211 40 Google Scholar

Harrison, M. and McVey, C. (1997) ‘Conflict in the city: street trading in Mexico city’, Third World Planning Review, (19)3, 313–17. Conflict in the city: street trading in Mexico city Third World Planning Review 3 313 17 Google Scholar

ILO (International Labour Office) (2013) Women and men in the informal economy: a statistical picture, Geneva, International Labour Office, 20–22. Google Scholar

King, R. (2006) ‘Fulcrum of the urban economy: governance and street livelihoods in Kumasi, Ghana’, in Brown (ed.), Contested space, 99–118. Fulcrum of the urban economy: governance and street livelihoods in Kumasi, Ghana Contested space 99 118 Google Scholar

Kinyanjui, M. (2014) Women and the informal economy in urban Africa: from the margins to the centre, London, Zed Books. Women and the informal economy in urban Africa: from the margins to the centre Google Scholar

Koolhaas, R., Belanger, P., Chung, C., Comaroff, J., Cosmas, M., Gandhi, S., Hamilton, A., Ip, L., Kim, J., Shepard, G., Singh, R., Slayton, N., Stone, J. and Wahba, S. (2000) ‘Lagos, Harvard project on the city’, in R. Koolhaas et al. (eds) Mutations, événement culturel sur la ville contemporaine, Bordeaux, Arc en Rêve, Centre d’architecture, 651–719. Lagos, Harvard project on the city Mutations, événement culturel sur la ville contemporaine 651 719 Google Scholar

Lindell, I. (2010) ‘Introduction: the changing politics of informality – collective organizing, alliances and scales of engagement’, in I. Lindell (ed.) Africa’s informal workers: collective agency, alliances and transnational organizing in urban Africa, London, Zed Books, 1–30. Introduction: the changing politics of informality – collective organizing, alliances and scales of engagement Africa’s informal workers: collective agency, alliances and transnational organizing in urban Africa 1 30 Google Scholar

LSG (Lagos State Government) (2010) Lee Kuan Yew World City prize 2010, Report, Lagos, Lagos State. Google Scholar

LSG (Lagos State Government) (2013) Lagos state development plan 2012–2025, Lagos, Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget. Google Scholar

LSG (Lagos State Government) and UN-Habitat (2004) State of the Lagos megacity and other Nigerian cities, Report, Lagos, Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning & Budget. Google Scholar

Lyons, M. and Msoka, C. (2010) ‘The World Bank and the street: (how) do “doing business” reforms affect Tanzania’s micro-traders?’ Urban Studies, 47(5), 1079–97. The World Bank and the street: (how) do “doing business” reforms affect Tanzania’s micro-traders? Urban Studies 47 1079 97 Google Scholar

Mackie, P., Bromley, R. and Brown, A. (2014) ‘Informal traders and the battlegrounds of revanchism in Cusco, Peru’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38(5), 1884–1903. Informal traders and the battlegrounds of revanchism in Cusco, Peru International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 38 1884 1903 Google Scholar

Mackie, P., Swanson, K. and Goode, R. (2017) ‘Reclaiming space: street trading and revanchism in Latin America’, in Brown (ed.), Rebel streets, 63–76. Reclaiming space: street trading and revanchism in Latin America Rebel streets 63 76 Google Scholar

Meagher, K. (2010) Identity economics: social networks and the informal economy in Nigeria, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Identity economics: social networks and the informal economy in Nigeria Google Scholar

Middleton, A. (2003) ‘Informal traders and planners in the regeneration of historic city centres: the case of Quito, Ecuador’, Progress in Planning, 59(2), 71–123. Informal traders and planners in the regeneration of historic city centres: the case of Quito, Ecuador Progress in Planning 59 71 123 Google Scholar

Mitullah, W. (2004) ‘A review of street trade in Africa’, Unpublished manuscript, Cambridge, MA, WIEGO. A review of street trade in Africa Google Scholar

Njaya, T. (2014) ‘Challenges of negotiating sectoral governance of street vending sector in Harare Metropolitan, Zimbabwe’, Asian Journal of Economic Modelling, 2(2), 69–84. Challenges of negotiating sectoral governance of street vending sector in Harare Metropolitan, Zimbabwe Asian Journal of Economic Modelling 2 69 84 Google Scholar

Nnkya, T. (2006) ‘An enabling framework? Governance and street trading in Dar es Salaam’, in Brown (ed.), Contested space, 79–98. An enabling framework? Governance and street trading in Dar es Salaam Contested space 79 98 Google Scholar

Omoegun, A. (2015a) ‘Street trader displacements and the relevance of the right to the city concept in a rapidly urbanising African city: Lagos, Nigeria’, PhD thesis, Cardiff, Cardiff University. Street trader displacements and the relevance of the right to the city concept in a rapidly urbanising African city: Lagos, Nigeria Google Scholar

Omoegun, A. (2015b) ‘Oshodi Market (pre and post 2009)’, in P. Mortenbock and H. Mooshammer (eds) Informal market worlds atlas: the architecture of economic pressure, Rotterdam, nai010 Publishers, 443–47. Oshodi Market (pre and post 2009) Informal market worlds atlas: the architecture of economic pressure 443 47 Google Scholar

Omuta, G. (1986) ‘The urban informal sector and environmental sanitation in Nigeria: the needless conflict’, Habitat International, 10(3), 179–87. The urban informal sector and environmental sanitation in Nigeria: the needless conflict Habitat International 10 179 87 Google Scholar

Oz, O. and Eder, M. (2012) ‘Rendering Istanbul’s periodic bazaars invisible: reflections on urban transformation and contested space’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, (36)2, 297–314. Rendering Istanbul’s periodic bazaars invisible: reflections on urban transformation and contested space International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 2 297 314 Google Scholar

Perera, L. and Amin, A. (1996) ‘Accommodating the informal sector: a strategy for urban environmental management’, Journal of Environmental Management, 46, 3–15. Accommodating the informal sector: a strategy for urban environmental management Journal of Environmental Management 46 3 15 Google Scholar

Potts, D. (2007) The state and the informal in sub-Saharan African urban economies: revisiting debates on dualism, Crisis States Working Paper Series, no. 2, London, London School of Economics and Political Science. The state and the informal in sub-Saharan African urban economies: revisiting debates on dualism Google Scholar

Sethuraman, S. (1981) ‘The role of the urban informal sector’, in S. Sethuraman (ed.) The urban informal sector in developing countries: employment, poverty and environment, Geneva, International Labour Organisation, 3–47. The role of the urban informal sector The urban informal sector in developing countries: employment, poverty and environment 3 47 Google Scholar

Shaw, K. (2008) ‘A response to “The eviction of critical perspectives from gentrification research”’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 32(1), 192–94. A response to “The eviction of critical perspectives from gentrification research” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 32 192 94 Google Scholar

Skinner, C. (2008a) ‘The struggle for the streets: processes of exclusion and inclusion of street traders in Durban, South Africa’, Development Southern Africa, 25(2), 227–42. The struggle for the streets: processes of exclusion and inclusion of street traders in Durban, South Africa Development Southern Africa 25 227 42 Google Scholar

Skinner, C. (2008b) ‘Street trade in Africa: a review’, Working paper, No 5, Cambridge, MA, WIEGO. Street trade in Africa: a review Google Scholar

Skinner, C. (2009) ‘Challenging city imaginaries: street traders’ struggles in Warwick Junction’, Agenda: Empowering Women for Gender Equity, 81, 101–09. Challenging city imaginaries: street traders’ struggles in Warwick Junction Agenda: Empowering Women for Gender Equity 81 101 09 Google Scholar

Skinner, C. (2017) ‘Law and litigation in street trader livelihoods: Durban, South Africa’, in Brown (ed.), Rebel streets, 125–42. Law and litigation in street trader livelihoods: Durban, South Africa Rebel streets 125 42 Google Scholar

Smith, N. and Low, S. (2013) ‘The imperative of public space’, in S. Low and N. Smith (eds) The politics of public space, New York and Abingdon, Routledge, 1–16. The imperative of public space The politics of public space 1 16 Google Scholar

Steel, G. (2012) ‘Whose paradise? Itinerant street vendors’ individual and collective practices of political agency in the tourist streets of Cusco, Peru’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 36(5), 1007–21. Whose paradise? Itinerant street vendors’ individual and collective practices of political agency in the tourist streets of Cusco, Peru International Journal of Urban and Regional Resear 36 1007 21 Google Scholar

Swanson, K. (2007) ‘Revanchist urbanism heads south: the regulation of indigenous beggars and street vendors in Ecuador’, Antipode, 39(4), 708–28. Revanchist urbanism heads south: the regulation of indigenous beggars and street vendors in Ecuador Antipode 39 708 28 Google Scholar

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Omoegun, Ademola O.

Mackie, Peter

Brown, Alison