He told a news conference in Ikeja that the 728 beggars, destitute persons and hawkers, comprising 347 were adult male and 241 adult females, were picked from the streets between January and July.
He said that the government also rescued children, comprising 64 boys and 76 girls, within the period under review.
The commissioner said that once they were picked, especially the children, investigations were carried out with a view to contacting their parents or guardians, on the reasons why the children were on the streets.
According to him, beggars on the streets and roads constituted considerable nuisance to law abiding residents, who are entitled to go about their businesses without any fear or hindrance.
”As a responsible and responsive government, the Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration will not fold his arms and watch the state become a haven for beggars. It will take action to curb the menace.
”Therefore, to tackle this menace, the Lagos State Government, through the Rehabilitation and Child Development Departments of the Ministry of Youth and Social Development, has maintained a Rescue Unit saddled with the responsibility of rescuing and protecting the destitute and the vulnerable.
”This, we do by combing the nooks and crannies of Lagos State to rescue and protect the destitute, mentally–challenged, street children and beggars on the streets.
”After being rescued, our Rehabilitation Centres and Child-friendly Homes usually provide them with treatment, psychosocial therapy and vocational training, with the aim of making them useful to themselves and the society,” he said.
The commissioner noted that the administration of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had promised residents free movement around the state, without fear or hindrance, and would continue to deliver on it.
He said that Lagos State had representatives of all the ethnic groups in the nation, with thousands coming into the state daily in search of a better life, saying that this had put on infrastructure and increased societal ills.
Dawodu appealed to residents to join hands with government in building a prosperous and peaceful society, where all could go about their lawful activities without fear or hindrance. (NAN)