The PUNCH gathered that the step was part of measures to protect the street children from the COVID-19.
“Within the period of this coronavirus, the state has taken between 80 to 100 children. It is in their interest because these children are vulnerable and could be easily exposed to the COVID-19,” a source said.
Our correspondent gathered that some of them might be returned to their states.
The state Commissioner for Social and Youth Development, Olusegun Dawodu, in a phone interview with our correspondent, said the government was always guided by the Child Rights Law.
He explained that children picked from the streets were usually taken before a magistrate who would assess them.
“We are picking up street children irrespective of their states of origin. We have been doing that on a regular basis. As we see them, we pick them up. This is backed by the Child Rights Law. The law says no child must be used for the purpose of begging for alms or hawking.
“Any child that we see under the age of 18, we pick him or her up and take them to our homes and there is a process for that.
“While some have relatives or parents in Lagos and we try to reunite them with their parents, some run away from homes over maltreatment. This is not directed at one particular ethnic group,” he added.
According to Dawodu, children in the state facilities are well treated and given clothes and food at the expense of the state government.
He insisted that such children were no prisoners.
“For the past six to seven months, we have been picking children from the streets. They are no prisoners. We feed them, clothe them and check them medically,” he added.
Dawodu said no child had been taken since the lockdown on movement started, adding that only “before and after easing of the lockdown”.
…reduces budget to N920bn
The Lagos State Government has reduced its 2020 budget from N1.17trn to N920bn.
The state Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Sam Egube, on Thursday, said the review would reduce the budget by 21 per cent.
He said the aim of the downward review was to mitigate the economic and social headwinds caused by the coronavirus pandemic in the state.
The Lagos State House of Assembly had in December 2020 passed N1.169trn Appropriation Bill for the atate.
The budget contained N457bn recurrent expenditure and N711bn capital expenditure.
Egube said the first quarter of 2020 recorded a budget performance of 56 per cent (N163.2bn); which in absolute terms was higher than the 68 per cent (N148.3Bn) recorded for the same period in 2019.
The commissioner listed some of the factors that necessitated the review of the budget to include fall in crude oil prices, downward pressure of IGR, devaluation of the naira, reduced public and private investment, increased inflation, decline in demand for goods and services and reduction in manufacturing activities.
“To restart the economy, we are going to optimise the state’s budget for investments in jobs and priority sectors through job creation, economic stabilisation and fiscal consolidation. While to re-imagine the state economy, we will prepare the state to operate and thrive within the new reality with digitisation, business environment reforms, improved economy and diversification of revenue sources” he added.
He gave the proposed breakdown of the revised budget as follows; total budget size reduced by 21 per cent from N1,168.562bn to N920.469bn with the financing deficit increasing by 11 per cent from N97.533bn to N108.005bn.
These Online Businesses would fetch you lots of money! No Training Required, Just gather your Profit daily! Lots of Freebies too: Free Bulk SMS Credit, Free Domain Registration and Web Hosting, Branded Apps, Recharge Voucher, Online Payment and more! Start Now »