Stakeholders raise alarm over poor parenting, growing number of orphans
Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Pauline Tallen, and other developmental and child care experts have raised alarm over the worsening level of care children receive in Nigeria, warning that the prevailing situation would affect the nation’s future development.
Indeed, while over 210 million children are already rendered orphans globally, Nigeria and other countries across Sub-Saharan Africa make up the larger percentage of this figure, the SOS Children’s Villages said.
Rising from a two-day National Stakeholders’ Forum and Capacity Building On Implementing Quality Alternative Care for Children in Need in Nigeria, which held in Abuja, the stakeholders said the nation’s growing endemic poverty, HIV and AIDS, armed conflicts, political instability, natural disasters, financial crises, and family breakdown are compounding children’s potential to develop and contribute meaningfully to the society.
Speaking at the event, organised by SOS Children’s Villages, Tallen said the current situation would increase the burden of crime and other social vices, which are already spreading across the country.
“The percentage of children made orphans in Nigeria is alarming and has negatively impacted the development of the communities affected by it, as it continues to devastate individual, families and households, affecting their physical, social, psychological and economic wellbeing,” she said.
The minister equally warned family against neglecting parental cares, stressing that while government is making efforts to address critical issues affecting children, there was need for collaboration with private bodies.
National Director of SOS Children’s Villages, Eghosa Erhumwunse said the widening gap between the rich and the poor needed to bridged, while ensuring that children’s rights, especially as stipulated by the United Nations and the Children’s Rights Act are fully implemented.