4th October, 2010
The Lagos State government is making frantic efforts to rid the state of street urchinsÂ and children who roam the streets selling things.
The state is doing this in partnership with the United Nations Children Education FundÂ (UNICEF) in order to make the plan effective.
The UNICEF, Child Projection Specialist in Lagos State,Â Mrs. Roseline Akinroye, whoÂ represented the international organisation, stated this at the opening of a three-dayÂ stakeholders forum on half way transit home for street children in Lagos.
Akinroye explained that UNICEF was involved in the project based on the awareness thatÂ street childrenÂ constituted aÂ major problem to the development of Lagos State.
According to her: â€œWhat we are trying to do is to support the state government to have aÂ system in place whereby issues of street children will be adequately and promptlyÂ addressed.
â€œWe have pocket of intervention here and there but we want to achieve a system such thatÂ once a child is identified on the street, any good citizen of LagosState will know whatÂ best to do to get that child back to school.â€
While listing broken homes, poverty and the quest for independence as reasons responsibleÂ for children on the street, she tasked government on proper implementation of policiesÂ and programmes aimed at assisting street children as this alone makes the problemÂ history.
The State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs JokeÂ Orelope-Adefulire, while speaking on the need to take children off the streets, said theÂ move was aimed at ensuring that these children, mostly underage are sent back to schoolÂ rather than engage in street trading and hawking.
The commissioner, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs RiskatÂ Akiyode, lamented that such situation had lured many children into crime, adding that aÂ programme would be established to ensure the success of the programme.
She explained that Lagos daily witnesses high influx of children from both within andÂ outside the country, noting that a lot ofÂ programmes have been formulated to effectivelyÂ ensure that no child in the state is on the street during school hours.
She listed the programmes to include the Child Act Law and distribution of yellow cardÂ where people reached the government to report any case affecting children.