Nigeria will create a friendly environment for the development and growth of children, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina said on Tuesday in Abuja.
The minister made the remark at an event to flag off the 2012 National Children’s Day celebration.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that May 27 is set aside every year to honour children in accordance with the UN General Assembly Resolution.
The theme of this year's celebration is ``Let’s build a culture of peace and security for the Nigerian child'’.
Maina said that peace and security were paramount for the survival and development of the child, stressing that ``the absence of peace in the society does not augur well for the survival of the child.’’
She said the choice of the theme was to draw attention of all segments of the society to the need to strengthen efforts towards creating a peaceful environment for the Nigerian child.
The minister said it was also a wakeup call to remind everyone of their responsibilities to their children, stressing that children have the right to good health, nutrition and education.
Maina said it was important that opportunities be created for advocacy to demonstrate that conflicts were potential threats to the psychological growth, survival and development of children.
According to the minister, who spoke on ``Violence against Children in Nigeria'', children are the future and the legacy of the nation.
``They are vulnerable and do not have the capacity to handle crisis situations.''
Maina said that building a culture of peace and security would require developing good policies that would remove children from conflict and promote their education.
She described violence against children as a disturbing phenomenon and the antics of some unpatriotic Nigerians.
“In Nigeria today, many children are silently suffering the effects and consequences of crises, which takes many forms, either on the streets, in schools, families and in communities.”
Mina said it was the duty of every Nigerian to ensure that peace abounds in all spheres of the society.
On insecurity, Maina said the country had made concerted efforts at providing child-friendly policies and programmes aimed at creating positive impact on their lives.
She said that 23 States had so far passed the Child Rights Act, while calling on the remaining states to comply.
The minister said that with the support of the media, greater vigour was evident in promoting awareness.