Insecurity: FCTA decries influx of beggars into metropolis


The Social Development Secretariat (SDS) of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has expressed worries over the influx of beggars into the city centre.

The Secretariat also blamed the terrible trend on the never-ending insecurity in several northern states, describing the situation as “overwhelming.”

Sani Amar, the Acting Director of the Secretariat’s, Social Welfare Department said this on Tuesday during a visit to the FCT Vocational and Rehabilitation Centre, Bwari, by participants of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies’ senior executive course 44, 2022.

Amar also frowned at the United Nations human rights act which prohibits the detention of arrested persons beyond three days, noting that such provisions have also served as catalyst for the swelling number of beggars in the city.

The Director, however, explained that the secretariat has been struggling to keep the streets of Abuja free of beggars and destitute lately, but noticed that its efforts have not yielded the desired result.

He expressed concerns that before now, its officials usually arrest between 20-25 beggars during their routine sanitation exercise. The situation he added, has changed drastically

as officials of the Secretariat now arrest over 100 beggars and destitutes in one single operation.

While calling for the need for government and the council of states to act fast by pushing for a legislation that will criminalize begging, he added that if punitive actions are meted at those who hide under the cover of begging to defraud innocent Nigerians, the menace will stop.

He, therefore, called on neighboring states of the FCT, particularly those at its northern borders to put in place policies that will discourage the brewing of street begging as the FCT ends up being at the receiving end of the consequences of the menace.

According to him: “What we notice, 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 expensive, 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 disabilities. Majority of them are able bodied, with their women and children. I think there is a need for the 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 120,000 naira, 200,000 naira and they are still begging.”

Post a Comment