Child Labour rating by NBS not true reflection in C’River – Commissioner


Aluta News

The government demanded to know the parameters used by the NBS to carry out the research that rated Cross River number one in the country involved in child labour with 67.4 percent.

The state Commissioner for Information, Mr Erasmus Ekpang who made the demand in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said Cross River remained the most “child friendly” state in Nigeria.

Ekpang explained that Cross River showed the value it placed on the rights of every child by being among the first state in the country to domesticate the Child Rights Law.

“The United Nations is aware of what we are doing in this regard. So, it is preposterous for us to degenerate into such a high lows even when there are a number of violations of the law.

“To say the least, we are concerned about such statistics and would want to verify this claim which I still consider as spurious.

“We have continued with sustained advocacy on the existence of the Child Rights Law in the state. The Law provides for criminalisation of violators and offenders of the law.

“As a state, we created a special Ministry to be in charge of this, which is the Ministry of Women Affairs with Desk Offices established in the 18 council areas to cascade this advocacy to the wards and villages.

“Government has gone ahead to involve traditional rulers, opinion leaders and women groups to strengthen this campaign against child labour and child abuse respectively.

“Of course, note that some violators have been and are being prosecuted in the courts. Even in my ministry of information, my orientation department has been doing a lot to sensitise and orientate the citizenry on the existence of the Law and implementation in the state.

“All these are helping and would continue to change the narrative in this regard,” he stated.

The NBS report indicates that over 24 million Nigerian children are involved in child labour, with 14.3 millions of these children engaged in hazardous work as of 2022 when the last report was conducted.

The northwest geopolitical zone bears the brunt of these figures, with the highest number of child labourers (6,407,102) and children in hazardous work (3,266,728).

The South East region emerged the highest in terms of percentage prevalence of child labour with nearly half of the children involved in child labour at 49.9 per cent.

Nationally, 39.2 per cent of children (24,673,485) are in child labour, and 22.9 per cent (14,390,353) are involved in hazardous work, painting a grim picture of the conditions under which nearly two out of every five Nigerian children live.

The report also shows that children in the 5–17 age group in child labour commit an average of 14.6 hours of work per week.

The data further revealed the top 10 states grappling with high percentage of child labour in Nigeria.

According to the data, Cross River, Yobe, Abia, Plateau and Taraba are are top five with 58.6, 58.9, 60.1, 62.6, and 67.4 percent respectively.

Taraba State is followed by Ebonyi with 56.2 per cent, Imo with 56.2 percent, Kogi with 54.4 per cent while Bauchi and Akwa Ibom came 9th and 10th with 53.3 and 52.2 percent respectively.


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