By Ahuraka Isah,
Senate yesterday directed its Committee on Women Affairs to join hands with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to domesticate the Child Rights Act, 2003 in the 13 states that are yet to enact same.
Senate’s directive followed the motion moved by chairman senate Committee on Women Affairs, Senator Binta Masi-Garba and eight others at the plenary on the commemoration of the 2017 Children’s Day celebration.
While congratulating the Nigerian Child on the celebration of the Children’s Day, Senate also commended the federal government and the families of the 83 Chibok girls that were recently released from Boko Haram’s custody.
The upper chamber, however, urged the federal government to ensure the rehabilitation of Chibok girls through the provision of adequate welfare, education and health services, while intensifying efforts to rescue the remaining girls.
This is just as it called on government at all levels to urgently address the social ill bedeviling the social development of children like child labour, drug abuse and cultism, among others.
Senator Biodun Olujimi (PDP Ekiti South), in her lead debate on the motion on behalf of Senator Masi-Garba, said the senate “recognises the Nigerian child in the nation’s development and the need to lay a good foundation and secure their future through the domestication and implementation of the Child Rights Act, 2003 in every state in the federation.”
She affirmed that a proper system of education and good health care are indispensable in making the Nigerian Child relevant in the global scheme of things.
The lawmaker lamented that infant mortality rate in Nigeria has risen to one million deaths per annum as a result of poor nutrition and inadequate medical facilities.
Senator Olujimi noted that “under the National Health Act, 2014, all pregnant women, the elderly, the disabled and children are to be exempted from paying for services in public hospitals”, but was worried that they still pay contrary to the provisions of the National Health Act, 2014.