By Bernard Tolani Dada, Uyo
The Chief Executive Officer, Africa Human Development Centre, (AHDC), Prof. Samuel Umoh, has stressed the need for strong national social security programs to protect vulnerable children in the society.
Prof Umoh told newsmen in Uyo that a strong and well conceived social security program would address issues of child labour and abuse which are common features in the Nigerian society.
The professor of Agricultural and Development Economics of the University of Uyo , commended the federal government for initiating some social security programs in the country but expressed doubt on its implementation.
He said, “The federal government has started the social program but unfortunately analysis shows that it might be difficult to implement. For example, the Home GrownSchool Feeding Programme in which a child is given a budget of N70 meal per child per day is inadequate especially in states like Akwa Ibom.
“This is too small, are we talking about buying groundnut alone or what we are talking about here. In other places that may be possible but in a place like Akwa Ibom it is not possible” Umoh said.
The professor who is a member of the Social Technical Committee on the development of a social security framework for Akwa Ibom said the policy is a good one but the operation is faulty.
According to him the APC-led federal government probably adopted the policy from somewhere without taking time to ensure that its workability in the country.
He commended the United Nations for consistently raising awareness on child labour and abuse and called on organizations saddled with the responsibility of children care to seek redress whenever children rights are abused.
“We need to re-strategize and reorder our priorities towards our children to ensure a better society” he said
The professor said the Civil Society organization need to do more and be more focused on the need to make the Nigeria child better.