By Laleye Dipo in Minna
The Niger State government has banned street begging effective from February 26, 2020 but said the ban does not affect the almajiri system of education.
The Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Mohammed Sani Idris, who made this known while addressing newsmen in Minna, said the state executive council, which met on Wednesday, approved the decision which he said is with immediate effect.
Idris said a committee has been set up to fine-tune the modalities for the implementation of the policy to ensure that it does not fail like previous arrangements.
According to the commissioner, anyone caught begging either on the streets or elsewhere will be arrested and prosecuted in line with the existing legislation, adding that street beggars found not to be indigenes of the state would also be arrested and transported to their states of origin.
“We are putting in place a lifetime structure that will stand the test of time, street begging is a menace that we should all join hands to stop, those who are not from Niger State will be evacuated and taken to their states.
“We will collaborate with other states to ensure the success of the policy. We now have the political will to ensure the policy is implemented to the letter,” Idris declared.
The commissioner however said that government has not outlawed the almajiri system of education, but warned that any almajiri found begging will be arrested and deported, adding that 80 per cent of almajiris roaming the streets of the state are not from Niger State.
“We are not banning almajiri system of education but they (almajiri) must not go on the street for begging,” he said.
Idris said there is a synergy among governors in the northern part of the country to put a stop to street begging in whatever form because of the dangers inherent in the practice which unfortunately is not Islamic.
In his contribution, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Nasara
Danmalan, said the state cannot be a dumping ground for beggars because of the ban on street begging in other northern states.
Danmalan said: “It is something we must do to keep the state safe and to keep everyone in the state safe.”