The Lagos State Government said 1,983 beggars, destitute persons, mentally-challenged people and urchins were rescued off the streets of Lagos within one year.
The Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr Olusegun Dawodu, disclosed this on Tuesday during the 2020 Ministerial Press Briefing marking the one year anniversary of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu in office.
Dawodu said that Lagos had recorded a noticeable reduction in the number of destitute persons, beggars and street children across the metropolis in the last one year.
He attributed the development to the continued rehabilitation, social integration and rescue missions, which had consistently ensured that these categories of people were constantly taken off the streets and given adequate attention.
The commissioner said that the ministry remained committed in its resolve to creating an enabling environment that promoted youth and social development services to give succour to the vulnerable members of the society.
Dawodu said that the rescue and rehabilitation efforts by the ministry were still ongoing in different parts of the state.
He added that state ministry would continue to strive to be the model Youth and Social Development Agency in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The commissioner said that among those reunited with their families and reintegrated into the society were 31 persons under Institutional Care, 51 persons under Rehabilitation and 18 persons under Child Adoption/Care, making a total of 100 persons.
”We have also rescued 228 children, comprising of 110 males and 118 females, from different forms of abuse,” he said.
Dawodu said that the ministry had also provided guidance and meeting the school children’s individual, intellectual, social and emotional needs during the period under review.
He said that a total of 1,856 children benefitted from individual and group counselling in different areas ranging from absenteeism, cultism and sexual abuse among several other vices.
The commissioner said that apart from its several rescue missions, the ministry, in partnership with some private organisations, was also addressing the rate of unemployment among youths.
According to him, over 500 were trained in various vocations ranging from Makeovers and Gele Tying, Photography, Tailoring, Beads Making, Cosmetology, Art and Designing, GSM Repairs, Child Care Training, among others.
The commissioner said that some youth centres were currently undergoing reconstruction and renovation.
He said that the centres at Abesan, Lafiaji, Campos, Ojo-Oniyun and Ikeja, were being renovated and equipped to train young people within the areas, thereby promoting social integration and reducing restiveness.
Dawodu said that the state government had commenced the construction of Adult Day Care Centres to complement the services rendered by the State-Owned Old People’s Home, Yaba, in order to expand the net of beneficiaries of vulnerable senior citizens’ care by the state government.
According to him, 145 senior citizens are now benefiting from the services rendered in the Old People’s Home, Yaba.
The commissioner said that the ministry was also responsible for the registration, monitoring, regulation of Homes, Orphanages, Crèche’s and Foundations.
He said that within the last one year, the ministry granted a total of 137 Provisional Approvals to these private establishments out of which 94 were in favour of daycare, creches and playgroup centres.
Dawodu disclosed that the state government, within the last one year, released 105 children for bonding, 89 for local adoption and 16 for international adoption.
”A total number of 116 adoption cases were legalised at various Family Courts, 86 for Local Adoption, 28 for International Adoption and two for Relatives’ Adoption,” he said.
Speaking on the achievements of the Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA), an agency under the supervision of the ministry, the commissioner said that 300 Persons Living with Disabilities (PWDs) were trained in January 2020 and empowered with equipment in different vocations.
The Vocational Training Programme took place at three centres across the state, namely; Vocational Rehabilitation Centre for Persons with Disability, Owutu, Ikorodu; Spinal Cord Injury Association of Nigeria, Amuwo-Odofin; and Epe Recreation Centre, Epe.