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Nigeria leads in child marriage globally, says Save the Children

By Bertram Nwannekanma (Lagos), Joke Falaju, Ernest Nzor (Abuja) and Murtala Adewale (Kano)
12 November 2021   |   3:55 am
Save the Children International has revealed that Nigeria has the highest rate of child marriage in the world.

Why 85,000 may miss varsity admission in Kano
Save the Children International has revealed that Nigeria has the highest rate of child marriage in the world.

In its ‘Nigerian Girl Report 2021’, the humanitarian organisation noted that
78 per cent of girls in Northern Nigeria marry before the age of 18 – the country’s official age of consent.

Save the Children, established in the United Kingdom (UK) in 1919 to improve the lives of children, asserted that child marriage was more prevalent in the North West and North East of Nigeria, where 48 per cent of girls were married by the age 15, and 78 per cent were married by age 18.

‘The State of the Nigerian Girl Report: The Diagnosis of Child Marriage and Girls Education in Nigeria’, launched, yesterday, in Abuja, noted that the percentage of women from 15 to 49 years in a polygamous union was 36.9 per cent while men accounted for 18.7 per cent.

At the launch, the Country Director of Save the Children, Mercy Gichuhi, explained: “Evidence shows there is a clear and strong link between Child Early Forced Marriage (CEFM) prevalence and endemic poverty, poor education outcomes, school dropout rates, a high rate of out-of-school children, and poor access to basic social, economic and healthcare services.”

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, remarked that challenges of early marriage were huge and could lead to venereal diseases.

MEANWHILE, more than 85,000 candidates that sat for August/September National Examination Council (NECO) Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) in Kano State may not be admitted into tertiary institution for failure of the state government to remit their exam fees.

After series of pressure, NECO released the results on October 29, 2021.

But results of 85,578 candidates from Kano were withheld for the government to pay a backlog of about N500 million.

Out of the total figure, about 26,000 candidates, less than 30 per cent, are under the sponsorship of the state government, while the rest made full payment to the state’s education ministry.