Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has reiterated the commitment of the Federal government to further improve the wellbeing of the Nigerian child by increasing the Children Protection systems in Nigeria.
The minister stated this in Kano, Monday, July 30, 2018 at a high level interactive Social Policy Workshop on strengthening capacity that will ensure sustainable results for Children targeted programmes in Northern Nigeria.
The Workshop was organised by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning in collaboration with the UNICEF Nigeria for the 18 UNICEF Northern States where child poverty and disparity is high.
It was organised under the UNICEF New Country Programme (2018-2022), which was designed to expand the scope of interventions in social policy activities in northern Nigeria.
The minister said "The issue of child wellbeing and development is central to our country's economic development and as such, we must give priority to children in our planning and execution as failure to do so will have adverse consequences on them"
Accordingly, she pointed out that the First Pillar of Nigeria Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), ' investing in our people ' has also covered children related issues
Explaining further, Mrs Ahmed said "Our children, who are often voiceless, have equal right to life of dignity; and they expect us to give them the platform to excel in life.
“Evidence has shown that there is the need for increase investment in the life of our children in Nigeria both at the Federal and states levels and also in partnership with the Private Sector and Civil Society Organisations"
The minister described the meeting as part of efforts towards ensuring that the future investment in our children is not excluded in the rebuilding processes by the government agencies where child related issues are dominant
She also told the participants that, the Federal Government was championing the process of aligning donor sponsored programmes with that of Federal Government so as to achieve continuity and inclusive delivery of Implementation..
The minister described the UNICEF 2018-2022 Country Programme as robust and inclusive in design and approach, which she said has rightly aligned with the strategic objectives of the country.
In her goodwill message, the Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment Programme (SIP), Mrs Maryam Uwais stated that the Federal Government Social Investment Programme (SIP), is strategic to achieving inclusive economic growth for children and vulnerable Nigerians
The UNICEF Country Representative Mr.. Mohammed Malick Fall, also stated that the Investment in Children's rights is an investments in their future and collective future of the country. “Children are the Future leaders and engines of the National economy. They are the future mothers and fathers and the guardians of the nation,” he said.
The workshop was the first high level workshop dedicated to issues around the Nigerian Child with particular emphasis on the Northern Nigerian Children
The theme of the workshop is '"The Situation of Children in Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects - focusing on the Northern Nigeria.
Salisu B. Haiba
Assistant Director (Press)