Lagos State Government and the Arewa community in the state are partnering to end the menace of street begging in the state.
Gatekeepers News reports that this followed a one-day stakeholders’ meeting between the state’s Ministry of Youth and Social Development and representatives of the Arewa community on Tuesday in Alausa in a bid to find an enduring solution to the menace.
According to a statement on Wednesday, the Lagos State Government and the Arewa community reached a consensus at the meeting that street begging must not be allowed anywhere in the state.
The Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mobolaji Ogunlende, while addressing the meeting, stressed that street begging had been banned in Lagos in line with the state’s Environmental Law and the Child Rights Law.
Ogunlende said the stakeholders’ meeting was necessitated by the resurgence of street begging in the state, which, according to him, was detrimental to the state’s socioeconomic development.
He said, “As a responsible and responsive government, we have decided to hold this meeting as part of our collaborative approach towards eradicating street begging in the state. It has become a nuisance that we cannot afford to close our eyes to.”
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Toyin Oke-Osanyintolu, condemned the act of using children to solicit alms, saying it violates the fundamental human rights of children as enshrined in the Child Rights Law which the state government was signatory to.
Oke-Osanyintolu said, “It is disheartening to see children being used to beg for alms on our streets. It becomes more worrisome when you consider the fact that the future of some of the children who are of school age is being jeopardised by this group of people who indulge in this unwholesome act just because of money.”
The Chairman, Lagos State Council of Arewa Chiefs, Ali Kabir, and the Chairman, Arewa Community, Yusuf Dandare, said they would support the government in eradicating street begging by discouraging those in their communities from engaging in it.