Fed Govt to protect child’s right, as Nigeria marks Children’s Day
School children in Anambra State have joined their counterparts across the nation to mark 2017 Children’s Day Celebration. The 2017 children’s Day celebration; which has its theme “Child Protection and the Sustainable Development Goals : Issues and Opportunities” took place at Ekwueme Square, Awka, it witnessed an unprecedented turnout of school children from different schools, both public and private. A children’s parliament dedicated to the day had sat a day before the date of the main event at Cana House in Awka. A comminuque issued after the sitting of the parliament had called for the welfare and protection of children in the society.
In an address, the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo , whose address was read by Governor Willie Obiano himself represented by the Commissioner for Education, Prof Kate Omenugha, said one of the cardinal objectives of Buhari administration was provision of quality education to children, with ease, as a fundamental foundation of economic and social development.
Acting President Osinbajo stated that the federal government had focused on addressing the terrible scourge of sexual violence against children, recalling that in November 2016, the campaign to end Child Marriage was launched to ensure that many children as possible were able to fully enjoy their childhood, protected from all the difficulties associated with this phenomenon.
” he said that the federal Government had, in a bid to improve child enrolment, retention and completion in public schools, in June 2016, the Federal Government launched the Home Grown School Feeding Programme, where one free nutritional meal is provided to pupils in the first three years of selected public primary school on every school day. He disclosed that as at present, the government is providing meals to 1,274620 pupils in 9212 Schools in nine states.”
Prof Osinbajo observed that the theme of this year’s Children’s Day was to afford another opportunity to explore additional avenues for the improvement of children’s wellbeing through the development of programmes and projects tailored to achieve the targets set by the Sustainable Development Goals.
According to him, some of the goals include, eradication of poverty, eradication of hunger and the achievement of food security and improved nutrition, attainment of good health, particularly through the prevention of child death and the provision of inclusive equitable quality education and the promotion of life long learning opportunities.
He however urged the state governments, Ministries, Departments and Agencies, as well as non governmental organization to work together to come up with strategic plans of action aimed at successful implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and harnessing the opportunities of such implementation for the benefit of the Nigerian Child.
Reading the address of the Commissioner for Social Welfare, Children and Women Affairs, Dr Victoria Chikwelu, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Azuka Offormata stated that Governor Obiano administration had invested heavily on poverty alleviation programmes and introduces several palliatives to cushion the effect of economic recession on parents and ensure they were able to fulfill their obligations to the children.
Dr Chikwelu noted that the recent investment in agriculture by Governor Obiano government was aimed at improving the standard of living and promote productivity in ensuring adequate food security, in line with the federal government plans to enhance food sufficiency.
On his part, the Speaker, Anambra State Children’ Parliament, Rt Hon Edden-Rex Abarah regretted that the high level of victimization and sexual harassment some children face, had thwarted their vision and self-esteem in the society.
Highlights of the occassion were match past, cutting of Children’s Day Cake, cultural and calisthenics displays.