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FCTA Battles Influx of Beggars from Neighbouring States

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The FCT Social Development Secretariat has lamented what it calls the alarming influx of beggars into the territory in recent times. 

The Secretariat says it is overwhelming and blamed it on insecurity in some Northern Nigerian states.

The Secretariat’s Acting Director of Social Welfare, Sani Amar disclosed this on Tuesday when participants of the senior executive course 44, 2022 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru in Plateau State visited the FCT Vocational and Rehabilitation Centre, in Bwari. 

Amar also frowned at the United Nations Human Rights Act which prohibits the detention of arrested persons beyond three days, noting that such provisions serve as catalysts for the swelling number of beggars in the city. 

The director explained that the secretariat has been struggling to keep the streets of Abuja free of beggars and destitute, but has noticed its efforts were yet to yield the desired result. 

He expressed concerns that the number of beggars usually arrested during routine sanitation has increased from about 20 to more than 100.

Amar, therefore, called on neighboring states, especially those on its Northern borders to enact policies that will discourage street begging.

"What we noticed, the recent influx of beggars in the city is so overwhelming. In a day, before, when we go round, we apprehend about 20 people, but now in one spot, we arrest 100 plus.

"And our major problem is the United Nations Human Right Act that says you can't detain human beings beyond three days and then coupled with the fact that their feeding is costly. So, these people have made it just like a business. 

"The insurgency, banditry, in the North generally is too much. The beggars now are not people with disability.  

“Majority of them are able-bodied, with their women and children. 

“I think there is need for government to see if the council of states can do something about this influx so that states responsible can provide succour for the beggars.

"So what we are trying to do now is to advise the authorities if they can explore any law/act that will at least make it deterrent to anybody because so many of them were apprehended with huge amounts of money. 

"Some with N120,000, N200,000, and they are yet begging," he said.


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