The Lagos state government has asked beggars and street hawkers to vacate the state or face sanctions.
The directive was given at a press conference by Commissioner for Youth and Social Development Mr. Olusegun Dawodu, his Information and Strategy counterpart Mr. Gbenga Omotoso and Lagos State Commissioner of Police Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, on Wednesday, August 18, at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa. The conference was organized to announce the creation of a task force to ensure the eradication of street begging and hawking in the state.
Dawodu said setting up the task force became necessary to sanitize the society and restore the dignity of those who have been sent into the streets for alms begging and hawking.
The special team will commence operations “in the next few days”, the Commissioner said, adding that the plan to stop street begging was based on intelligence reports that some of the “so-called” beggars go about with dangerous weapons, assault and rob innocent Lagosians.
“The State Government will deploy a lot of human and material resources towards enlightenment and sensitisation via different media platforms. As they say, enlightenment becomes entertainment without enforcement. That is why the way to go now is to enforce compliance with the laws of our state for sanity to reign in our society.” he said
Imploring Lagosians to take alms to recognized registered homes, orphanages, rehabilitation, and faith-based organizations, Dawodu said donations made to such places would be judiciously utilized in ameliorating the conditions of the vulnerable.