Lagos State government on Sunday said about 10,000 religious organisations have been captured in its datebase.
Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi also disclosed that over 2,500 intending pilgrims have been vaccinated with the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
He spoke at a ministerial press briefing commemorating the second year in office of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu at the Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja.
The commissioner said that the ministry is presently in the process of imputing data of every place of worship located in the state on a centralized database to allow government have a reliable data of churches, mosques and their locations, with a view to carrying them along with intended policies.
He expressed the hope that the policy, because of effective resource allocation and efficient management inherent in it, will bring about extended benefits to many more churches and mosques in the state.
Elegushi noted that at present, the website designed for this enumeration purpose has over 10,000 data of both Muslim and Christian religious organisations across the state.
Speaking on intending pilgrims this year, Elegushi said that the vaccination took place between Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th, March, 2021 by the Christian and Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Boards in collaboration with the state Ministry of Health.
This was in fulfillment of the requirements for gaining entry into both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for Hajj and Israel for Christian pilgrimage.
Prince Elegushi also said the state government has registered 400 money lenders across the state in the last two years, just as it confirmed the receipt of 74 applications for naturalization on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Home Affairs within the same period.
He explained that the ministry is also in partnership with foreign business owners who intend to acquire the citizenship of Nigerian via naturalization.
According to him, with this partnership of naturalization and special immigrant status, Nigeria, especially Lagos State stands to benefit from the Foreign Direct Investment while the immigrant business owners also benefit by growing their businesses in one of the biggest markets in the world.
Speaking on the registered 400 money lenders, the commissioner stated that the ministry is in partnership with the money lenders sector in a way that most of such organizations are mandated to register with the ministry for the coordination of their activities.
“In return, 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 characters, while also regulating the activities of the companies,” he said.
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.
The commissioner also noted the state of religious harmony and peaceful coexistence of people belonging to the two major religions in the State.
In his words: “We pride ourselves in saying that what divides and creates security breach in other parts of the country is what unites us in Lagos State, bearing in mind that Lagos 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 2 years, the state has enjoyed tremendous religious’ harmony and peaceful co-existence through one of the critical functions of our ministry that is facilitating, maintaining and enhancing harmonious relations among faith-based groups and organizations in the State.”