By SOLOMON NDA-ISAIAH
House of Representatives Deputy Chief Whip, Rep. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha has called for increased investment in the provision of mental health services for girls.
Onyejeocha in a personally signed statement to mark the International Day of the Girl-Child also called on government at different levels to pay attention to girls living with disabilities, as the needs of this special group has long been overlooked.
The statement read in part: “As the world celebrates this year’s International Day of the Girl-Child, the mental well-being of the girl-child and girls living with disabilities must be prioritized and adequate resources deployed to maximize interventions needed to create an enabling environment for them to attain their full potential and optimize their capacities”.
The lawmaker noted that in Nigeria, an estimated 20%–30% of the population are believed to suffer from mental disorders, yet there are only 130 psychiatrists in Nigeria, which has a population of 200 million and counting.
Onyejeocha further called for tougher measures to stem the rising cases of Sexual and Gender Based Violence.
“As a legislator and principal officer at the House of Representatives for Nigeria, I strongly advocate and insist that It is crucial to keep making demands on institutional collaboration towards finding justice for victims of child abuse and sexual and Gender-based violence irrespective of the laws been made because it takes strategic collaborations to curb the monstrous and inhuman acts against the girl child who is often the victim of such acts.
“As a pointer, the recent budget presented by the President at the National Assembly on the 8th of October 2020 must be tailored towards prioritized interventions, whilst also taking into cognizance the need for financial inclusion when it comes to issues affecting women, children, girls and also ensuring that MDAs take into consideration gender budgeting during their budgeting cycle and implementation”, she added.