Able-bodied beggars on the street: perceived determinants of their prevalence and their targeted land uses in Ibadan metropolis, Nigeria

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This study examined the perceptions of able-bodied beggars to factors responsible for their prevalence and the land uses they occupied for their activities in Ibadan metropolis. Nigeria. Data were obtained from 117 (18, 12, 46, 13 and 28 in the areas of Sango, Iwo Road, Sabo, Challenge and Oja Oba, respectively) randomly selected able-bodied beggars using a structured questionnaire. The data were analyzed using percentages, mean index, standard deviation, chi-square and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). The study showed that 51.3% of the beggars were males; the youngest was 19 years old, while the oldest was 59 years. The average age of the beggars was 33 years. Further findings revealed that the average household size for the study area was 5, while the standard deviation was 2.6. The important perceived factors responsible for the prevalence of begging among the able-bodied beggars, measured on a 5-point Likert Scale, were homelessness (4.29), lack of skills for gainful employment (3.77), debt (3.64), meeting cost of education/children’s education (3.64), inability to secure a job (3.52) and lack of food (2.97). The study further revealed that the prevalence of begging among able-bodied beggars varied with land uses. Against this background, it was concluded that the information obtained on the socio-economic attributes of able-bodied beggars, perceived determinants of their prevalence and their targeted land uses could be utilized by policy-makers and urban planners to proffer lasting solutions to the menace of begging.

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