Lagos State Government has disclosed that it has registered over 400 money lenders in the last two years, just as it noted that it has also vaccinated over 2,500 intending pilgrims for the next hajj.
Making this disclosure at a ministerial press briefing to commemorate the second year in office of the state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at the Press Centre in Ikeja yesterday, the state Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, stated that the ministry is in partnership with the Money lending sector in a way that most of such organisations are mandated to register with the ministry for the coordination of their activities.
According to him, “In return, the ministry has registered, profiled and monitored the viability of such companies to ensure that while the money lenders are in business, the public is also protected from scammers and people of questionable characters, while also regulating the activities of the companies.”
This partnership, according to him, has greatly assisted small scale business owners in Lagos to keep their petty businesses afloat without having to contend with high interest rates of the big banks, adding that this activity has contributed to the micro-economic growth of businesses in the state.
In the same vein, the commissioner disclosed that the ministry is in the process of imputing data of every place of worship located in the state on a centralised database to allow the state government to have a reliable data of churches, mosques and their locations, with a view to carrying them along with state government policies.
He expressed the hope that the policy, because of the effective resource allocation and efficient management inherent in it, would bring about extended benefits to many more churches and mosques in the state, saying at present, the website designed for such enumeration purpose, has over 10,000 data of both the Muslim and Christian religious organisations across the state.
Elegushi also reported the state of religious harmony and peaceful coexistence of people who belong to the two major religions in the state.
He said: “We proud to say that what divides and creates security breach in other parts of the country is what unites us in Lagos State, bearing in mind that the state has become a home to people from across Nigeria and beyond.
“I am happy to report to you that in the last two years, the state has enjoyed tremendous religious’ harmony and peaceful co-existence through one of the critical functions of our ministry, which is “facilitating, maintaining and enhancing harmonious relations among faith-based groups and organisations in the state.”
Elegushi added that the feat was achieved through regular, vigorous and consistent engagements and discussions with religious leaders in the state under the umbrella of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC).
While giving the accounts of stewardship of the Muslim and Christian Pilgrims Welfare Boards, the commissioner reported that the ministry had to partner the Ministry of Health in ensuring a seamless vaccination exercise for all its intending pilgrims.
“As part of measures to ensure a successful pilgrimage exercise, intending pilgrims were screened both administratively and medically, and were administered with COVID-19 vaccine,” he said.
Also, the commissioner confirmed the receipt of 74 applications for naturalisation on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs.
He revealed that out of the 74 applications for naturalisation received, a total number of 35 applications have been screened and recommended to the Federal Ministry of Interior for approval.