…As Save The Children calls for full access to health

The federal government has reiterated its commitment to invest more on child protection in the country.

Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Aisha Abubakar disclosed this in her address at a programme to celebrate this year’s Universal Day of the Child which took place at the School of the Gifted, Gwagwalada, Abuja, also said that the government will provide an enabling environment for improved access to quality education and life skills for the effective participation in policy and decision making processes.

The programme, which had: “Children are taking over and turning the world blue” was organised by an international non-governmental organisation, Save the Children in collaboration with the ministry.

The minister was represented by deputy director, Child Development in the ministry, Ali Madugu. She said a 2015 situation analysis showed that 36 million Nigerian girls married before the age of 18.

“Children form an appreciable size of our population. The rate of child poverty remains high, with children experiencing two or more deprivations of their basic needs. Hunger and poverty therefore remain major concerns for our children,’’ she said.

In her remarks, permanent secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Ifeoma Annagbogu said the federal government has demonstrated  strong commitment towards the welfare of children by signing and ratifying various international and regional instruments, treaties and conventions that seek to ensure that the rights of the child are upheld.

Also speaking at the event, director of Advocacy and Campaigns, Save the Children, Amanuel Mamo, called on governments to step up their efforts to develop and implement action plans that include full access to health and protection for girls.

He said: “These plans must be fairly financed and must incorporate a strong focus on education. We call for a stronger coordination and effective responses across the education, health, nutrition, protection, economic and justice sectors in order to improve the lives of many disadvantaged girls and boys.

“Save the Children urges for an increased investment in improving the quality of and access to primary and secondary education in particular, as well as the development and implementation of a multi sectoral action plan to strengthen girls’ equal access and completion of quality education that empowers them to make an informed decision on issues that affect them.”