The war against begging in Lagos rages on as Governor Babatunde Fashola has vowed to eradicate all forms of begging in the state.
The governor stated that the law against begging must be enforced to ensure that beggars were stamped out of the streets of Lagos as their activities constituted nuisance to the public and the government.
Fashola, who spoke after he visited the State Remand Home and Skill Acquisition Centre, Isheri, and the premises of Eko Transport in Oshodi on Thursday, said there was no reason why people should beg for alms on the streets of Lagos when they could easily learn some vocational skills.
“When we say people shouldn’t beg on our street, we mean it. The reason is that begging is not an option here. Everyone must contribute to this economy and those who have drug problem or illness have the choice to visit our remand homes where we feed them, rehabilitate and treat them.
“So, we have provided a choice and there is a law against street begging and we will enforce it,” he stated.
The governor added that several people had been trained at the vocational centres and had become very useful to the society, stressing that those begging for alms could also make themselves available for training in order to become useful to the society as well.
He explained that the Lagos State Remand Home and Skill Acquisition Centre, Isheri was developed over the last years essentially out of nothing. This, he attributed to the hard work by the deputy governor and her team.
The governor said the Wood Work section at the centre was where a lot of the state’s school furniture and stuff were being made currently, adding that the boots worn by officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority and Neighbourhood Watch were being made at the footwear centre.
“We have been to the refrigeration unit of the centre where they teach them basic refrigeration, maintenance, operational and management skills. We also saw the centre where the young ladies were making foot mats, dresses and all of that. They would move on as they finish to the African Growth Opportunities Act Centre (AGOA) in collaboration with the US Government where they can begin to export some of their work,” he said.
Fashola explained how the centre played a key role in developing skilled manpower even from among the indigent, saying that, “clearly, they are products of our technical colleges and also destitute and people with drug problems taken through rehabilitation and introduced to the Centres to learn a skill and go back and become useful members of the society.”