… Releases 1,983 Rehabilitated Persons For Re-Integration In One Year
The Honourable Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr. Olusegun Dawodu, on Tuesday, said Lagos has recorded a noticeable reduction in the number of destitute persons, beggars and street children across the metropolis in the last one year, attributing 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.
Speaking at a Ministerial Press briefing marking the one year anniversary of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at JJT Park, Alausa-Ikeja, the Commissioner disclosed that a total number of 1,983 beggars, destitute persons, mentally-challenged people and street children were rescued off the streets of Lagos in the last one year.
While maintaining that the Ministry remains committed in its resolve to create an enabling environment that promotes Youth and Social Development services to give succour to the vulnerable members of our society, Dawodu informed that a total number of 1,946 persons rescued from Lagos streets had been rehabilitated and released to their families for re-integration.
He added that the rescue and rehabilitation efforts by the Ministry are still on-going in different parts of the State, stressing that the government will continue to strive to be the model Youth and Social Development Agency in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.
In the area of Human Integration, the Commissioner stated that “an analysis from our various homes, showing those who have reunited with their families and reintegrated into the society, are 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 Male and 118 Female, from different forms of abuse”.
As a way of providing guidance and meeting school children’s individual, intellectual, social and emotional needs during the period under review, Dawodu revealed that a total number of 1,856 children benefitted from individual and group counselling in different areas ranging from absenteeism, cultism, and sexual abuse among several other vices.
He 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, noting that 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 etc. in the last one year.
On the issue of Youth Centres, the Commissioner informed that some locations are currently undergoing reconstruction and renovation, the centres which are at Abesan, Lafiaji, Campos, Ojo-Oniyun and Ikeja are being renovated and equipped to train young people within the areas, thereby promoting social integration and reducing restiveness.
Dawodu disclosed further that the State government has 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, stressing that 145 Senior Citizens are now benefiting from the services rendered in the Old People’s Home, Yaba.
According to the Commissioner, the Ministry which is also responsible for the registration, monitoring, regulation of Homes, Orphanages, Crèche’s and Foundations, has within the last one year granted a total number of 137 Provisional Approvals to these private establishments out of which 94 of the approvals were in favour of Daycare, Creches and Playgroup Centres.
He 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”, Dawodu said.
Speaking on the achievements of the Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs, LASODA, being an agency under the supervision of the Ministry, the Commissioner reported that 300 Persons Living with Disabilities (PWDs) across the State were trained in January this year and empowered with equipment in different vocations.
The Vocational Training Programme, according to him, 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.