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Buhari reiterates Nigeria’s commitment to protection of children’s rights

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze (Abuja), Charles Ogugbuaja (Owerri) and Ayodele Afolabi (Ado-Ekiti) 
28 May 2023   |   4:03 am
Outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to the protection and promotion of the rights of the children.

Women Affairs Minister, Pauline Talen (left); President Muhammadu Buhari and FCT Minister, Mallam Mohammed Bello during the Children’s Day party at the State House, Abuja…yesterday PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA<br />

• Oyebanji Pledges Better Opportunities For Ekiti Kids 
• PDP Scribe, Imo Speaker Felicitate Children

Outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to the protection and promotion of the rights of the children. 

This was as the Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji, yesterday pledged to create opportunities for children in the state.

Speaking at the 2023 Children’s Day Parade held at the Old Parade Ground, Abuja, yesterday, the President stressed the need to address the challenges and impact of poor parenting on the mental, physical and psychological well-being of the Nigerian child.  

Represented by the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dame Pauline Talen, the President lamented that Nigeria was bedevilled by value crises, stressing that there was an urgent need for the reorientation of children and youths.

Buhari stressed the need to ensure that children are brought up properly with strict enduring values for a better Nigeria.  

He said: “Good parenting promotes and facilitates the physical, emotional, social, spiritual and intellectual development of the child from infancy to adulthood. Parents must be conscious of their responsibilities to their children; good parenting is crucial to the security of the nation. Good character begins from home. Parents must provide for the care, maintenance and education of their children in line with the provisions of the Child Rights Act 2030 to enable them to become responsible citizens and future leaders.” 

The President urged children to show respect for their parents, teachers and superiors at all times, adding that the government remains fully committed to providing an enabling environment for children to grow and attain their full potential.  

He noted that 35 states have domesticated the Child Rights Act, disclosing that only Bauchi State was yet to domesticate it.

He added that all efforts should be made to remove Nigerian children from the streets and ensure that they are enrolled in schools.

Earlier, Speaker of the National Children Parliament, Progress Umoh, who quoted the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), said 10 million children at the primary level and additional eight million in the junior secondary level who are out of school in Nigeria account for 50 per cent of the total number of out of school children globally. 

He called on the incoming government to ensure that both the federal and state governments prioritise effective implementation of the Child Rights Act, provision of adequate funding for quality education for Nigerian children, provision of scholarship programmes to assist vulnerable children and effective implementation of safe school declaration for adequate security to curb the high rate of kidnapping of children, among others.

Oyebanji, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Yinka Oyebode, restated the commitment of his administration to investing in the education of children and providing the right platforms for them to exhibit their God-given talents and attain greatness.

He said his administration was aware that a society that neglects children would trade off its future and values, hence the decision of his government to prioritise education, welfare and wellbeing of the children, who he described as the future leaders of the state and country. 

He added that aside from providing free and qualitative education from primary school to senior secondary school level, his administration has continued to provide a conducive environment for teaching and learning through comprehensive renovation of schools and provision of incentives for teachers. 

“I congratulate our children, our future leaders as we join them to mark this year’s International Children’s Day. I assure them of government’s continued support and investment in their education and in creating opportunities and platforms for them to explore their potentials and attain greatness,” Oyebanji said.

Also, the Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Emeka Nduka, and the National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Samuel Anyanwu, have called for the sustenance of an enabling environment that would ensure the welfare of Nigerian children.

The duo made the call yesterday in separate statements issued by their media aides, Samuelson Iwuoha and Ikenna Onuoha, respectively, to mark this year’s Children’s Day celebration.

They both urged children in the state to remain disciplined, obedient and loyal to constituted authority.