Lagos Registers 400 Money Lenders, 10,000 Churches, Mosques

May 25, 2021
400 money lenders

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

In two years about 400 money lenders were registered by the Lagos State government, the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Mr Anofiu Elegushi, has disclosed.

The Commissioner stated that this was done to coordinate activities of players in the money lending sector, saying it is also to protect residents of the metropolis.

“The ministry registers, profiles and monitors the viability of such companies in ensuring that while the money lenders are in business, the general public is also protected from scammers and people of questionable character, while also regulating activities of the companies,” he said.

He also said the collaboration with stakeholders in the sector 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.

Mr Elugushi, who was addressing newsmen at the Y2021 ministerial press briefing at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja over the weekend, said the ministry is presently in the process of imputing data of every worship centre located in the state on a centralised database to allow the state government have reliable data of churches, mosques and their locations with a view to carrying them along in state government policies.

He expressed hopes that the policy, because of the inherent effective resource allocation and efficient management, will bring about extended benefits to many more churches and mosques in the state, saying that at present, the website designed for the enumeration has over 10,000 details of both Muslim and Christian religious organisations across the state.

The Commissioner also reported on the state of religious harmony and peaceful coexistence of people belonging to the two major religions in the state.

“We pride ourselves in saying that what divides and creates security breach in other parts of the country are what unites us in Lagos, bearing in mind that the state has become a home to people from across Nigeria and beyond.

“I am happy to report to you gentlemen of the press 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,” he said.

Mr 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 both Muslim and Christian pilgrims welfare boards, the Commissioner disclosed that the ministry went the extra length to partner with the Ministry of Health in ensuring a seamless vaccination exercise for all intending pilgrims.

“As part of measures to ensure a successful pilgrimage exercise, intending pilgrims were screened both administratively and medically.

“Over 2,500 intending pilgrims were vaccinated with the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine between Saturday, March 27 and Sunday, March 28, 2021, by the Christian and Muslim pilgrims welfare boards in collaboration with the state Ministry of Health. This was in fulfilment of the requirements for gaining entry into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the performance hajj and Jerusalem pilgrimages,” he stated.

On the readiness for the Y2021 pilgrimage exercise by intending Christian pilgrims, Mr Elegushi informed that the permanent secretary in the Ministry led a six-man delegation to Jordan, ahead of the proposed May 2021 pilgrimage, to ascertain the preparedness of pilgrimage handlers and to also have a better and clearer view of historical sites in Jordan.

Also, the Commissioner said the ministry received 74 applications for naturalisation on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Home Affairs in two years. He said of these, 35 have been screened and recommended to the Federal Ministry of Interior for approval.

He explained that the Ministry is also in talks with foreign business owners, who intend to acquire Nigeria citizenship via naturalisation and/or special immigrant status, saying that with the ongoing engagement, Nigeria, especially Lagos State, stands to benefit foreign direct investment while the immigrant business owners also benefit by growing their businesses in one of the biggest markets in the world.

Modupe Gbadeyanka

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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