President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said he had put in place several interventions to ensure that all children are protected from incessant attacks, kidnapping, killings, abuse and corrupt practices.
The President said his administration was also expanding the Home-Grown-School Feeding Programme by targeting an additional three million children who would receive one free nutritious meal a day.
Buhari spoke in Abuja at the 2021 National Children’s Day celebrations, organised by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) in conjunction with the Ministry of Women Affairs.
He assured the children that their school activities would no longer be interrupted by the disturbing activities of criminals and bandits.
Buhari, who was represented by the FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello, said: “One of such interventions is my commitment to the “Safe Schools Declaration (SSD)” which I ratified in 2019 to ensure the government of Nigeria puts in place a national policy that would guide its implementation nationwide.
“I call on state governments and security agencies to rededicate themselves to this project to protect children from incessant attacks and ensure that their education suffers no setback”.
“Furthermore, I have directed that a full range of social intervention programmes be deployed across all ministries, departments and agencies of government to achieve the vision of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030.
“The goal is that in the next 10 years, there will be less out of school children, fewer indices of malnutrition and less child mortality rate,” he said.
Also speaking, Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline urged the state governors to ensure the domestication of the Child Rights Act 2003 and VAPP Act of 2015 throughout the country to promote the wellbeing and welfare of Nigerian children.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan, called on states yet to domesticate the Child Rights Act 2003, to do so in the interest of the nation’s children.
Lawan lamented that as of October 2020, 11 out of the 36 states – Kebbi, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Jigawa, Zamfara, Bauchi, Yobe, Gombe, Borno and Adamawa – were yet to domesticate the Child Rights Act passed in 2003.
In Sokoto, the United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF) observed that the Covid-19 pandemic is threatening decades of progress it has made for children, saying all must act in the best interests of children by deploying innovative solutions to fast-track learning and health services to build back better, for every Nigerian child.
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu warned parents not to neglect their parenting roles as a new law would penalise parents of convicted cultists in the state.
Speaking at the Children’s Day celebration at the Police College Ikeja, Sanwo-Olu, whose speech was read by the Deputy Governor, Dr Obafemi Hazmat, said: “The new law against cultism in Lagos State which was signed some few months ago prescribes punitive measures for parents of those convicted of cultism. This is a wake-up call to all of us as parents to be alive to our duties,” he said.
The event was used to flag off the registration into primary one classes in the state’s 1,016 public primary schools.
Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq pledged to always ensure that every child gets an equitable chance to attain their full potential.
In a personal message to the children, the governor said his administration was committing huge resources to programmes dedicated to their well-being — whether in healthcare, basic education, nutrition, or recreational activities.
Out-of-school children and Almajirai dominated the venue of Jigawa State’s Children’s Day celebration held at Muhammadu Dobar ground in Dutse, the state capital, The Nation learnt.
The state’s Ministry of Women Affair and Social Development organised the celebration, which also featured a march past.
Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Ibrahim Balarabe-Abdullahi, called for more collaboration to end child labour and other forms of violence against children.
The Speaker also called for the provision of quality education for children to make their future brighter, adding that education was the best instrument to fight poverty and other societal vices.
As part of activities marking the day, Fifth Chukker Resorts yesterday donated to Kaduna State, 30 blocks of 60 classrooms that will cater for 12,000 pupils in Maraban Jos, Igabi Local Government Area (LGA).
Wife of Kaduna State Governor, Hajia Aisha-Ummi el-Rufai commended the CEO for giving back to society.
The Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 election, Peter Obi, urged leaders at all levels of government to think deeply about kids and their welfare.
Speaking after delivering the keynote speech at the Aba Business Leadership Summit at the Aba Sports Club in Abia, he recalled a slogan, ‘The society we abuse today will take its revenge on our children tomorrow’.
Abiodun gifts scholarship to SSS 2 student
Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun approved a full scholarship for a public secondary student, Oyinbo Precious, adding that his administration would continue to identify young talents and offer them platforms to excel.
Precious, a Senior Secondary School (SSS 2) student of Naiwar-Ud-Deen Grammar School, Obantoko Abeokuta, was given the scholarship for her brilliant citation on “the responsibilities of the Nigerian Child,” at the ceremony to celebrate the Children’s Day.
Shun acts that can hinder your potential, Oyetola urges youths
Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola admonished Nigerian youths to shun acts that can hinder them from fulfilling their potential in life, including illicit drugs, cultism and friends that could jeopardise their future.
Bello advises children to be focused, disciplined
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi urged children in the state to be focused, disciplined and to shun all forms of social vices to make their parents, state and the nation proud.
Makinde reiterates commitment to protection of child rights
Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde said his administration will not relent in its efforts in protecting the rights of children in the state, adding that alleviating the challenges of the less privileged and other vulnerable persons would continue to be the priority of his administration.
Ikpeazu announces free education for pupils
Abia State Governor Dr Okezie Ikpeazu yesterday announced that basic education in Abia is free for all pupils while the scholarship scheme for students of tertiary education in the state had also been revived.