The Federal Government and the United Nations Children’s Fund have said Nigeria recorded progress in the area of child protection through the domestication and implementation of the Child Rights Act.
Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, said this during an interactive session and symposium with schoolchildren from various schools.
The event was held at the Government Science Technical School, Area 3, Abuja, in commemoration of the Universal Day of the Child.
Kennedy-Ohanenye said that the government had continued to prioritise the rights of children across the country by ensuring that children have access to basic amenities, education and are also protected from violence and acts of cruelty.
According to her, Nigeria must continue to secure and ensure the protection of children hence all hands must be on deck, especially the government, children and other stakeholders.
She said, “Children should learn today that this is a new Nigeria with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda. This means that your rights can never be tampered with anymore.”
UNICEF’s Director of Programmes, Nigeria, Chikodi Onyemerela, said children’s rights to quality medical services, education, developmental rights, rights to protection and protection from emotional abuse amongst others must never be compromised.
Mr Onyemerela stated, “Every right of the child is important for Nigeria to produce children that will 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.”
Also, Director, Child, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Mr Andrew Madugu, encouraged children to always remain focused in their studies, showing gratitude to and respect for their elders.
Speaking on behalf of the students, Friday Onyekachukwu, expressed appreciation for the minister’s gesture in coming to spend time with them.
Mr Onyekachukwu, however, urged the government to continue to support children, especially orphans and those who lack access to basic amenities and education.
Other highlights of the event included a quiz completion and the distribution of school bags and educational materials.