Towards keeping beggars off the streets of Port Harcourt, citizens have been urged to stop patronising them.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation, Mrs Loiser Ezinwo who gave the advise recently said if the public stopped giving alms to beggars, who have flooded the streets of Port Harcourt in recent times, their numbers would be drastically reduced.
Mrs Ezinwo said the Iriebe Rehabilitation Centre has been rehabilitated for the benefit of destitute and beggars saying that it was unfortunate that some people including the beggars preferred to solicit for alms than to do anything useful for themselves.
She noted that the main problem of a beggar should be shelter and food, but wondered why most beggars always escaped from the rehabilitation centre where those things are provided to return back to the streets.
“The only way to stop this nuisance is to stop petronising them because if they beg for two days without getting anything they would think of something meaningful to do”, she said, adding that over 90 per cent of the beggars came from other states.
The Permanent Secretary further said that the updated Iriebe Rehabilitation Centre which was commissioned recently would soon be made self-sustaining, when the ministry plan to introduce modernised farming, and an improved craft centre materialises.
She commended the State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi for his love and care for the destitute and also applauded Chief Albert K. Horsefall for his contribution towards the rehabilitation of youths in the state.