Beggars given 2 weeks ultimatum
Street Begging: Nigeria’s North-central State Sets Committee to Enforce Ban on Street Begging
Street begging in Nigeria has become a menace which both the federal and state governments have been struggling to address.
Niger state in north central part of the country recently declared a ban on street begging, threatening to arrest defaulters.
The state commissioner of Information and Strategy, Muhammed Sani Idris who briefed journalists after an executive council meeting of the state government last week’s Wednesday said the ban also included children of Qur’anic schools popularly known as Almajiri who were usually sent by their teachers to beg on street.
He said if any of such children were apprehended, their teachers would be prosecuted and possibly imprisoned.
To give credence to the ban, Mr Idris on Monday said a taskforce committee would be set up to enforce the decision by the state government.
Alh Muhammad Sani Idris explained that the task force when constituted would ensure total eradication of street begging through out the state.
Meanwhile, a two week grace has been extended to the beggars, especially those from other states, to either vacate the state or change their business.
Street begging in Nigeria has often been associated with poverty. A report by the World Poverty Clock in 2018 shows that the 86.9 million Nigerians living in extreme poverty represents nearly 50% of its estimated 180 million population.
There is also the issue of misconception of religious beliefs, particularly in the Muslim dominated north where many parents believe their children have to go far distances to acquire Qur’anic education.