Wife of the President of Nigeria, Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, has posited that child labour menace is a serious threat to child development in the country.
She therefore called for more efforts to ensure that the phenomenon is eradicated or reduced to the barest minimum.
Mrs Buhari, who said this at the National Children Conference to commemorate 2022 World Day Against Child Labour, added that, “Child labour remains a major threat to child development in Nigeria in spite of legislative measures taken by the government at various levels to curb it.”
She further said, “In its efforts to reduce incidence of child labour, the government is implementing vigorously the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme which is the major plank of the battle to fight child labour, increase children school enrollment and prevent children dropping out of schools.
“Worthy of note too is the adoption of the Child Rights Act and other protective laws by governments at the state level as also playing a critical role in militating against child labour.
“I have to admit that there are a lot of activities in this sector which have led to considerable differences in the area of awareness creation among parents, children and even schools.
“My Future Assured as you know has done very much in this regard especially through advocacy. I call on us all to do more because we are getting more victims and also the circumstances leading to child labour still subsist. The eradication of child labour however requires a systemic approach and effective policies to strengthen social protection systems, education, and decent work opportunities for parents and caregivers to address the conditions that drive child labour.
“While today’s event stands primarily to celebrate these children, it also provides the avenue to call for increased investment in social protection systems and schemes to establish solid social protection floors and protect children from child labour.
“It is in this regard that the government has put in place social security programmes as highlighted by earlier speakers to dissuade all shades of child labour in addition to diversifying the economy through agricultural revolution and strengthening the social security system to reverse poverty as a predisposing factor in this light.
“All these initiatives of the Federal Government, I believe, sets us on the path to eradicating the menace of child labour in our communities and on the path to achieving sustainable development goal. I have listened to the various speakers here today and how they are helping to change the narrative, I believe this multi sectoral approach will help in eradicating child Labour in Nigeria.
“While we all have different stories to tell on our experiences in this sector, we stand united in our call for action so that our children will grow up to their full potential.”
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