As Nigeria joins the world to mark the Universal Day of the Child, federal government and the United Nations Children Fund, (UNICEF) have said Nigeria has made progress in the area of child protection through the domestication and implementation of the Child Rights Act, (CRA).
Minister of Women Affairs, Barrister Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, said government has continued to prioritise the rights of children across the country by ensuring that children have access to basic amenities, education and are protected from violence and acts cruelty.
The minister stated this at an interactive session and symposium with school children from various schools at Government Science Technical School, yesterday in Abuja.
Citing the cases of an eight year old girl in Enugu whose mother and stepfather were sued to court by her ministry for negligence and sexual defilement, Barrister Kennedy-Ohanenye said no Nigerian girl should be made to suffer any form of molestation.
She said that for Nigeria to continue to secure and ensure the protection of children “All hands must be on deck especially the government, children and all other stakeholders.
“Children should learn today that this is a new Nigeria with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s renewed hope agenda. This means that your rights can never be tampered with anymore.”
UNICEF Director of Programs, Nigeria, Chikodi Onyemerela said that Children’s rights to quality medical services, education, developmental rights, rights to protection, education and rights to protect from emotional abuse amongst others, must never be comprised.
She notes that “Every right if the child is very important and for Nigeria to produce children that represent the country tomorrow and grow into responsible adults.
“So our key message for Nigeria is that it’s time for us to recognise the place of children in governance in terms of the resources of this country.”
Director Child, federal ministry of women affairs, Andrew Madugu, encouraged children to always remain focus in studies, showing gratitude and respect for their elders.
Appreciate the minister’s gesture in coming to spend time with them, one of the students from the department of Radio, Television and Electrical work, Friday Onyekachukwu, urges government to continue to support children especially those who are orphaned and those who lack access to basic amenities including access to education.
Highlight of the even was a quiz completion and the distribution of school bags and educational materials.