Children are moving around helpless, having little or nothing to say about what concerns them. Children growing up in conflict environments have become the targets of insurgents, bandits, ritual killers and kidnappers running riot across the country.
From limited access to education, to poor healthcare, the children of Nigeria are facing hard life. Nigeria has the second highest infant mortality in the world among children under 5 years. Nigerian children
face variety of challenges in their daily lives. The future of thousands of school children in Nigeria, especially in the North, remains bleak as hundreds of schools in some states are closed indefinitely due to the rising insecurity. Many children have abandoned education due to the psychological traumas of witnessing violent attacks or living in captivity.
With half the country’s population comprising of people under the age of 15 years, poverty in Nigeria disproportionately affects children. Extreme poverty has affected nearly every aspect of child development
including education, nutrition, safety and hygiene.
Most times, it’s not the wish of parents to let their children go through all of these realities, not that they don’t know the importance of healthcare or education but the financial means to provide these necessities are not there. Most parents are low income earners. Many of them are jobless as a result they could not afford the basic necessities for their children. Finance plays a major role in any child’s development. When a child has no hope, a nation has no future.
Children are the bridge to the future. Every child deserves equal opportunity to be able to live a meaningful
life as we are unaware of what each child might become tomorrow. The above realities explain why the wellbeing of the Nigerian child should be given adequate attention and viable solutions should be provided by
One important aspect of child development must be looked into again. According to UNICEF Nigeria, one in every five of the world’s out-of-school children is in Nigeria. Even though primary education is
officially free and compulsory, about 10.5 million of the country’s children aged 5-14 years are not in school.
I think Nigeria should be more successful than it is now, as this country is blessed with natural resources and intelligent people, so what is delaying Nigeria’s development? Illiteracy! And low educational background. So, the government should provide better education for children in the country, and also provide conducive
environment for learning. On the side of parents, the government should give parents financial aids, salary increments, low taxation policies to help parents do what they are required to do for the betterment of their children.
As a female child with aspirations and desire to impact the Nigerian society, I would like the government to improve the educational standards for female children and ensure that both the male child and
female child are treated equally.
Thanks to the government for the emergence of the “Children’s Parliament,” the government should create more avenues for children to inter-face freely with leaders and express themselves on matters that
concern and bother them. They should also ensure that their opinions are considered and attention paid to their needs.
Concerning the health of children, the government should provide efficient and free medical care for them especially the less privileged ones. The government should also ensure that children are fed well. Nothing is as important as having children who are secure, well-educated and healthy.
Children are fondly called the leaders of tomorrow but how can we be when we are not equipped today? Stakeholders should work together to improve the well-being of children in Nigeria and equip them to become more resilient. Making the world a better place doesn’t mean we should do big things but even the smallest things done consistently can make
the world a better place.
Hon. Okpo-Ene Bassey-Deborah is a member Cross River State Children’s Parliament