67,804 schoolchildren benefit from Lagos advocacy programme — Commissioner

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Lagos State Government said on Wednesday that a total of 67,804 schoolchildren have benefited from its advocacy and sensitisation programmes in public schools in the last year, expressing its strong commitment to promoting the welfare of children and youth and sensitising them on how to be better and more responsible individuals.

The State Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr Mobolaji Ogunlende, stated this during a press briefing held in Alausa, which was part of the activities to mark the first year of the second term of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

This was just as the commissioner explained that part of the activities of the ministry was to promote moral values and behaviour among schoolchildren for academic excellence and to protect schoolchildren from all forms of exploitation, such as sexual, physical, and emotional abuse.

Ogunlende said the ministry was also resolved to stem the wave of vices and crimes such as gambling, betting, drug addiction, and abuse prevalent among learners.

He maintained that the ministry also gave priority to issues pertaining to people living with disabilities (PLWD), saying that “such an office was created to look into their affairs so that they can have equal opportunities with the able-bodied members of society.”

According to Ogunlende, the Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs has attended to complaints from 116 persons with disabilities on issues such as discrimination by employers, landlord issues, and other legal matters, saying that 300 people living with disabilities have been empowered in the last year.

Speaking further, the commissioner pointedly declared that alms begging had become a crime in the state, warning that anybody caught begging for alms would be prosecuted.

He maintained that 157 beggars were rescued and 142 of them were prosecuted in the last year, adding that a total of 753 mentally challenged people were also removed from the street and taken to rehabilitation centres.

Ogunlende added that the rehabilitation homes, orphanage homes, and homes for elderly people in the state received adequate attention from the state government, saying that likewise, the inmates were adequately taken care of.

The commissioner, however, said that some of the old people who were from estranged families had been reunited with their family members, while some of the orphans in orphanage homes had been adopted by some families, saying that a total of 115 local adoption and 44 international adoption letters were received in the year under review.