State Assemblies

Enugu State Government Mulls Anti Street Begging Law




The Enugu State Ministry of Gender Affairs and Social Development said it would propose a law to prohibit street begging by men, woman and children in Enugu.


The State Commissioner for Gender, Mrs Peace Nnaji, said this in Enugu on Friday during an oversight function by the Enugu State House of Assembly Committee on Gender to the ministry.


Nnaji said that Enugu state had passed the child rights bill but the bill did not have the necessary legislative backing to prohibit child begging in the streets.


She noted that if passed, the new law would help the ministry to do its work effectively.


According to the commissioner, the state is also faced with the menace of street beggars.


“We witnessed a case of a woman who pretended to have cancer of the breast; we caught her and took her to the rehabilitation centre to check her; it was discovered that she was doing that to attract sympathy.


“We also discovered a woman who pretended to be blind while she was not; these are the things we are seeing in the ministry.


“This is how Boko Haram started in the North.


“We have about 100 destitute at the rehabilitation centre that the state government is taking care of,” she said.


She said that with the collaboration of the wife of the governor, Mrs Monica Ugwuanyi, the ministry was able to empower 696 women on various skills such as tailoring, farming carpentry and others.


Nnaji said that the ministry had settled over 1000 family disputes adding that some of them were still in court in order to make them comply with some of the decisions of the ministry.


In the area of child abuse and neglect, she said that the office was partnering relevant ministries to ensure that everything was alright.


“We have 34 cases of child abuse where father raped his own child, brother raped sister and so on,’’ she explained.


In her remark, the Chairperson of the Assembly Committee on Gender, Mrs Onyinye Ugwu, urged the ministry to bring up either an executive or private member bill that would help to curb the situation and promised that the house would give it accelerated hearing.


Ugwu suggested that once those fake destitute were caught they should be returned to their state and handed over to the appropriate quarters.


She urged the ministry to always call on the assembly wherever the need arose to ensure that the good works of Enugu State government continued.


The lawmaker said that the state government had invested heavily in the ministry to reduce the sufferings of the residents of the state.


She commended the commissioner for being courageous and steadfast in handling the task given to her by the state government and urged her to continue to do her best.


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