Sprawling and ever busy Ikeja City Mall, neighbour to the Lagos seat of power, Alausa, Lagos, has been a melting pot for beggars.
Some years back, destitution was a major problem for tenants and owners of the mall. But after being dislodged by the management of the mall, they are back with an improved modus operandi.
This time, they no longer operate at the parking lot but right inside the shopping mall.
These glorified beggars hang around ATM pavilions, shoppers and visitors. Those smart beggars could be seen very close to Debonairs, opposite Mr. Biggs eatery inside the shopping mall.
Some of these beggars pretend to be waiting to see a movie at the Silverbird Cinemas waiting room, where you can relax with a pack of popcorn and drinks while waiting to see a movie.
The beggars quietly beg for financial support from people who are relaxing or on the queue to buy ticket to see a movie.
The beggars also hang around corridors upstairs close to Rhapsody. One can also find them around the corridors on the way to Mr. Price.
They were some chairs on the corridors but when beggars took over that space, the management removed the chairs. Also inside Shoprite, the beggars pick items and ask shoppers to pay for them.
On Friday, June 19, 2015, when ENCOMIUM Weekly contacted the management on this trend, their response was, “We are trying our best to contain them, but it’s difficult for us to identify the beggars. We have stopped them from begging at the parking lot.”