The Kano State government says it is stepping up the implementation of the state legislative instrument banning all forms of street hawking as well as begging in the state.
This comes as part of measures geared towards creating a healthier and more conducive environment for doing business in the state.
To this effect, the state’s Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development mandated to drive the implementation of the Act has disclosed that it has arrested and evacuated over 500 destitute caught in the act, who are not indigenes of the state, to their respective states of origin, while those of them who are natives of the state had been moved to local government areas where they will be rehabilitated.
Zahrau M. Umar, commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, who made the disclosure, hinted that the operation would continue until the state is cleared of all destitute.
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Umar spoke to BusinessDay on the latest operations embarked upon by a special task force headed by her, which is currently effecting arrest and evacuation of defaulters across the state.
According to the commissioner, the move by the Abdullahi Umar Ganduje administration to vigorously implement the anti-street hawking and begging law was borne out of the need to curtail the trend which is on the increase in the state.
“I wish to make it clear to the people of the state that the Kano State government, in its fight against street begging and hawking, has today, through the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, kicked off the evacuation of street beggars and street hawkers from the streets in the state,” Umar said.
“His Excellency, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has mandated me to lead the evacuation team which is an ongoing operation with no stop date. The governor in line with his benevolent nature has also approved that each of the evacuees from the state be empowered with various sums of money that they can use for the purpose of starting small scale businesses at various homes.
“The money set aside for this purpose has been made available to me, which we are going to deliver to all the evacuees benefitting from the gesture, after the evacuation programme. As part of the mandate given to us, any of the beneficiaries that we find on the street after they have been settled will be prosecuted,” the commissioner said.
She explained that the ongoing programme was particularly different from the previous one carried out by the state Ministry of Education which solely entailed the arrest and evacuation of Alimajiris (Quranic students) who are in the habit of street begging.
“We are very serious to do away with the negative culture of street begging in the state, which has nothing to do with our religion as being wrongly assumed by most people in the country. On no ground did Islam permit anyone to go about begging, as provisions are there in the Holy Quran that people must find a way of feeding for themselves,” the commissioner explained.
It would be recalled that of recent the number of street beggars and hawkers has been on the increase in the streets, a situation that may not be unconnected with the prevailing harsh economic situation being faced by most residents of the state.