Lagos evacuates 1,340 beggars, destitute in one year

The Lagos State Government on Tuesday said a total of 1,340 beggars, destitute and mentally challenged persons were taken off the streets in the last one year, just as it said about 73,664 patients were screened and helped to trace their homes through various media platforms.

Speaking at the ongoing 2016 Ministerial Press Briefing held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa to commemorate Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s one year in office, Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, said the government, in the period under review, released and reunited 590 rehabilitees with their relations for reintegration, while 1,228 persons were rehabilitated at the Rehabilitation and Training Centre in Majidun.

Mrs. Akinbile-Yussuf, who addressed the briefing jointly with the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, said many of the rehabilitees were subsequently placed on vocational training to make them contribute positively to the society, adding that 43 drug dependents, who probably had lost hope, were restored to their functional ability and another 20 placed under vocational training at the Rehabilitation and Vocational Training Centre in Isheri.

The commissioner, who reeled out many other social interventions which the ministry embarked upon in the last 12 months, said the development was part of the vision of Governor Ambode to create an environment that is safe, conducive and prosperous not only for investors but the citizenry in general.

Besides, the commissioner reminded residents that the law banning street trading and begging is very much in force in the state, warning that government would not hesitate to apply the full weight of the law when necessary.

She said: “In the last one year, the Lagos State Government under the leadership of His Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode recorded many achievements in the area of social welfare and for instance, I can categorically tell you that a total of 634 Juvenile cases were successfully handled under the Family Social Services, while a total of 110 applications for adoption were successfully screened.

“Also, 150 reputed cases of sexual abuse and physical abuse were treated, while five pregnant school children were assisted to access adequate antenatal and delivery services. They were also assisted to be integrated back to school.”

Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Lola Akande, while giving account of stewardship of her ministry in the last one year, explained that her office in its continuous child prevention, rescue and rehabilitation programmes successfully treated about 589 cases ranging from sexual abuse, physical abuse and child labour.

She said the ministry also received 382 cases of domestic violence out of which 234 cases were successfully treated, which among others included physical and emotional pains, harm, injury, humiliation and degradation, permanent and partial disability, separation, divorce and needless loss of precious lives.

While fielding questions from journalists, Mrs. Akande tasked members of the society to come up with useful information on sexual violence not only against women, but men and other social vices including suspected illegal baby factories.