As Nigeria observes World Children’s Day, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has confirmed the progress Nigeria has made in the area of child protection through the enactment and enforcement of the Child Rights Act (CRA). Women’s Affairs Minister Uju Kennedy Ohanenye said “governments have continued to prioritize the rights of children” across the country by ensuring access to basic amenities, education and protection from violence. . The Minister stated this yesterday at a symposium with students from various schools at the Government School of Science and Technology, Abuja. Chikodi Onyemerera, UNICEF Nigeria Program Director, said children’s rights to quality health services, education, developmental rights, protection, education and psychological abuse must never be compromised.
Meanwhile, UNICEF has announced that more than 110 million children in Nigeria are at risk of harsh realities such as rising temperatures, floods, droughts and severe storms. In a statement yesterday, country representative Cristian Munduate said this year’s celebration was an important platform for children, who are most affected by climate change, to express their concerns and experiences. “Their voices are essential in shaping our collective path towards a sustainable and resilient future,” she said. UNICEF lamented the alarming rate of child displacement due to environmental disasters, stating that “650,000 children were displaced by floods from 2016 to 2021.” Governments, development partners, civil society organizations (CSOs) and the private sector have a responsibility to advocate for climate change education and children’s rights. Events held across the country saw children leading discussions about the critical impact of climate change on their lives and their futures. Dr Salisu Dahir, Executive Director of the National Climate Change Council, said: “As one of the countries most adversely affected by climate change, Nigeria’s response to climate change must be swift and comprehensive, taking into account the needs of vulnerable people. National Climate Action Including children and women not only in the implementation of the plan but also at the decision-making level.”
Mr. Mobolaji Ogunlende, Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Lagos, said: “We need to ensure a clean and healthy environment for our children to grow up in good health. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu takes the climate issue very seriously and has made it a key part of our agenda. That’s one of the driving forces.”
It’s about making the environment cleaner, greener, and generally safer for children to grow up in. Without a good environment, children will not develop properly. ”
Gombe State Education Commissioner Aishatu Maigeli said UNICEF was ensuring no child was left behind, especially in the areas of education and nutrition.
She said other areas where UNICEF was intervening included the development of the Gombe Education Sector Plan, safe schools and appropriate levels of education.
He said at the 2023 end-of-year review conference in Gombe yesterday that the international organization has been working tirelessly to bring smiles to the faces of women and children across the Bauchi field office.