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Survey: Begging rate on the rise in Ilorin

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Street Beggars in the State.

Street Beggars in the State.

The recent economic recession in Nigeria is biting harder by the day in Ilorin the Kwara State capital as The Guardian investigations show that the rate of begging among non-professional beggars has increased by about 70 per cent.

Experts said the development is not peculiar to the town, as people in other towns in Nigeria are equally experiencing a similar situation, adding that a global slump in economic indices could not be divorced from it.

But the immediate effect of the development on the people is a drastic slump in quantum of almsgiving, a charity endeavour recommended by two prominent religions in the country; Christianity and Islam.

Besides, a survey of sales in major shopping malls in the ancient town which economy is driven by civil service structure have dropped by about 45 percent just as the population of buyers has reduced by over 50 percent, in an apparent economic interpretation of leaving only the few privileged buyers with buying capacity. Retailers of foodstuffs with their counters outside their residences have incurred huge debts due to credit offered that are not redeemed.

At major junctions and prominent churches and mosques in the town, the numbers of urchins have considerably reduced due to absence of givers. But some with courage knock at residential gates to occasionally seek for financial assistance. Alarmingly, African Traditional Religious adherents no longer place sacrificial objects at road junctions.

At Admiralty Junction, the place that used to house sacrificial objects such as goat heads, limbs, palm oil, salt and kola nuts is no more. A survey around some churches on Sundays showed a significant drop in population, while the percentage of offerings and tithes have equally dropped. Besides, some churches now distribute food periodically to attract worshippers.

It is no longer business as usual for car owners on the roads as many of them now prefer parking their vehicles, opting for commercial cabs and motorcycles instead. Besides, many automobile technicians now sleep in their places of work citing low customers’ patronage.


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