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Population commission seeks domestication of child rights act


Chief Eze Duruiheoma,

Chief Eze Duruiheoma,

The National Population Commission has called on states to domesticate Child Rights Act.

When domesticated, the law should be enforced in full with adequate punishment for its violators, the Chairman of the NPC, Eze Duruiheoma said yesterday.

Duruiheoma, who spoke at the 2016 State of the World Population Report in Abuja, called for improved care for the girl-child at the event.

According to the NPC chief, “Data from the 2006 Population and Housing Census indicate that Nigeria’s 10-year-old girls was 1,763,122 or 1.3 percent of the total population. By 2016, the population of the teenage girl has increased to 2,374,900.”

“At the national level, the conditions of the 10-year-old girls and other teenage girls are not in any way better, neither are the burdens they carry lighter.

He said: “Data from the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey, NDHS, 2013 indicate that an estimated 23 percent of women aged 15-19 years have begun childbearing, of which 17 percent have had their first child and five percent are pregnant with their first child. The pitiable condition of the teenage girls is not consistent with our dreams to build a healthy, prosperous and stronger nation.”

Duruiheoma maintained: “We must constantly remind ourselves that the welfare of the present and future generations of Nigerians depend on decisions we make today and there cannot be a better or smarter decisions than to invest in the education, health and general well being of the 10 year-old girl and other teenage girls.”

President of the Association for Reproductive and Family Health, Prof Oladapo Ladipo, called on the Federal Government to recognise that young people are at the heart of achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda with greater priority dedicated to young girls aged 10-19 years.

Ladipo said: “The age 10 is a critical age when symptoms and signs of puberty emerge with physical, emotional and psychological changes that coincide with the period when young girls are transiting from primary schools to secondary schools in Nigeria.”

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