27th April, 2015
At least 62 babies abandoned by their mothers on the streets of Lagos have been rescued by the Lagos State Government.
This was disclosed by the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Office of Youth and Social Development, Dr. Adesegun Oshinyimika, at a ministerial press conference in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, southwest Nigeria at the weekend.
According to him, in the last 10 months, 62 babies had been abandoned by their mothers after birth, saying this included 34 female and 28 male babies, adding that these babies were rescued by the government.
On adoption and fostering, Oshinyimika disclosed that in the last one year, 111 applications were cleared, with 85 babies released for adoption while 76 adoptions were legalised through the Family Courts.
He added that 51 adoptions were local, 18 international as four were for Relative International Adoption, while one fostering order was extended at the Family Court.
Oshinyimika also said 6,470 teenagers either absconded from home or got pregnant were counselled in the last one year.
Also, he said 1,754 students who were found to be truants and 1,118 youths who engaged in gangsterism and drug abuse were counselled on the danger inherent in such dangerous behaviour, adding that the number of youths engaged in anti-social activities that were counselled were 2,399.
He stated that the reasons behind the counselling of youths and students were to stem the wave of crime now prevalent among school population, to identify and reduce the incidence of truancy, petty stealing, cigarette and hemp smoking among school children and to work towards reducing school dropouts by taking prompt action on matters relating to problems of students.
“It is also to encourage parents/guardians to rekindle interest in the education of their children/wards by paying regular visits to schools in order to assess their performance and to participate actively in the running of the parents/teachers meetings. Some of these cases were referred to Family courts and the affected pupils were placed on supervision to enable them settle down well both at home and at school,” he said.
On rehabilitation, Oshinyimika said in the last one year, 940 beggars/destitute/mentally challenged people were rescued off the streets of Lagos, saying that the rescue of beggars from the streets of Lagos was a continuous exercise, while the office liaised with other security agencies to rid Lagos Street of beggars, destitute and the mentally challenged.
“Thirty seven able-bodied persons suspected to be criminals were handed over to the taskforce for prosecution, 910 were released to their relations with the intent of taking them back to their sates of origin, 12 cases were referred by the Child Protection Unit for further social investigation.
“Thirty four cases were referred from the Special Correctional Centre for Boys, Oregun, 53 are currently undergoing rehabilitation at the Rehabilitation and Vocational Training Centre, Isheri while another 75 are at the Vocational Rehabilitation Centre for Persons with disabilities, Owutu, Ikorodu.
“At least, 1,486 were taken to the Rehabilitation and Training Centre, Majidun, Ikorodu, where the State Government has made provisions for facilities to help in turning the lives of the destitute/beggars around, while the mentally unstable are given medical attention,” he disclosed.