The Lagos State Government has launched a campaign to sensitise the public on its zero tolerance for begging and destitutes on the streets of the metroplolis.
This is contained in a statement by Mrs Kemi lkotun-Adekusibe, Head, Public Affairs of the Ministry of Youth and Social Development on Friday in Lagos.
The statement said that “the menace of beggars and destitutes on our streets had reached an alarming dimension.”
“This is in spite of regular rescue operations carried out by the rescue team of the state’s Rehabilitation Department,” it said.
“Beggars of different categories and destitutes have become a usual sight on the streets over the years with the resultant negative effects on traffic management and security along major roads.
“Some of the beggars have been found to be accomplices to certain crimes for which they sometimes hide weapons as robbers believe they would not readily be suspected.
“’While others under pretext of being beggars have dispossessed members of the public of their valuables on the roads,’’ the statement said.
It highlighted section 166 sub-section 1(b) of the criminal code which prohibits street begging with adequate penalty for defaulters.
The statement implored residents to cooperate with the government in its mission to rid the streets of Lagos of the menace of beggars and destitutes by desisting from giving alms to them.
“Instead, give the alms through faith-based organisations and recognised non-governmental organisations or recognised government homes that will handle such donations responsibly.
“Also, jingles have been placed on media platforms in English, Yoruba, Igbo and Pidgin languages to educate members of the public on the need to partner with the government to fight the menace,’’ it said.