Lagos State Government has reiterated its commitment to continue to protect the dignity of children in Lagos as a signatory to the Child Rights Act just as it strives to rid the state of beggars in pursuance of its zero tolerance policy on street begging.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth & Social Development, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola disclosed this on Wednesday while parading arrested women using small children to beg for alms at Iyana-Ipaja roundabout.
He said the culprits, comprising four women with infants, were apprehended while soliciting for alms during routine operation by the Ministry’s rescue team at Iyana Ipaja, stressing that it has not been established if the beggars are the biological parents of the children.
According to him, “It is very sad that most of the beggars are not the biological parents of the children they use for begging and it’s our responsibility as government to protect the dignity of children being used to beg for alms which is a punishable offence under the law of the land”.
Muri-Okunola maintained that the State Government will continue to rid Lagos streets of beggars because some of them have also been caught aiding and abetting criminals in perpetuating their heinous acts like kidnapping and robbery among others.
While warning that the present administration is determined to prosecute offenders contravening the State’s Environmental Law through street begging, Hakeem implored Lagosians to cooperate and support the government in eradicating this menace in the State.