‘Nigeria loses N1.42 trillion to violence against children yearly’
The Chief Field Officer of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Bauchi, Mr. Bhanu Pathak, has said that Nigeria loses an estimated N1.42 trillion to violence against children (VAC) yearly.
Pathak, represented by the Child Specialist, Ladi Alabi, stated this yesterday during the launching of the report on financial benchmark and economic burden of violence against children in Nigeria for Gombe and Plateau states in Jos. He said that 60 percent of Nigerian children suffer from physical, emotional or sexual violence and out of the number, 50 percent suffer from physical violence.
“Fifty-two percent of boys and 50 percent of girls in Nigeria are physical violence victims prior to 18 years of age. On average, physical violence against children costs Nigeria N1.008 billion. Eleven percent of boys and 25 percent of girls are victims of sexual violence, which costs Nigeria N307 billion and the country also lost N91 billion to emotional violence, which has 20 percent of boys and girls 17 percent,” he stated.
Pathak said there was a huge financial loss from the cumulative loss of earnings due to loss of productivity stemming from sufferings associated with different degrees of violence against children over time.
He said the launch of the two reports affords UNICEF the opportunity to know first-hand what it is putting into child’s protection as well as the high economic cost of violence against children. Also speaking, Gombe State Statistician-General, Alhaji Muhammad Gidado, said that with the growing cases of violence against children in the country, parents must be made to own their responsibilities to the children.
“The issue of ending violence against children is a collective responsibility that all must stand against. The reason for the increase of the problem is because parents in Nigeria are refusing to be parents and do the needful,” Gidado said.
The statistician said violence against children could not be addressed when a high number of out-of-school children and drug addicts are roaming the streets as Almajiris. In her welcome address, Permanent Secretary, Plateau State Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs. Hasana Aiyika, stressed the need to protect children if Nigeria must succeed in all endeavors.
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