Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) in its resolve to improve the welfare of residents and protect all children from all form of violence, said it would launch a strategic plan to end Violence Against Children (VAC) in the nationâ€™s capital.
The Acting Secretary, Social Development Secretariat (SDS), Mrs. Elegbede Adebola, disclosed this yesterday at a press conference in Abuja.
She said although child protection legal frameworks and mechanisms are mostly in place, but gaps in the current system, both at FCT and area council level have hindered the full and effective protection of children.
Adebola, who was represented by the Acting Director, Gender SDS, Ms. Agnes Uta-Hart, stated that policies and programmes relating to children still lacks the necessary human, technical and financial resources to fulfil its coordinating roles.
She stressed that the launch of the strategic plan became necessary after the federal government, UNICEF Nigeria and other national and international organisations expressed concerns over high prevalence of VAC across the country.
Adebola said the document had contributions from civil society organisations, religious and traditional institutions as well as government ministries and agencies.
She explained that, â€œthe state priority actions set out the short-term and long-term strategies to be implemented in FCT response to findings of the VAC in order to effectively prevent and respond to violence against children. All participating sectors will regularly and collectively monitor progress on these commitments.â€
She emphasised that the contribution of CSOs, traditional institutions, Sustainable Mechanism for Improving Livelihoods and House Empowerment (SMILE project) funded by USAID have been instrumental in driving this process.
Meanwhile, the Director of Public Enlightenment, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Mr. Orakwe Arinze said, women are the most shameless culprits when it comes to child abuse.
â€œNAPTIP has set up a register to name and to shame those who abuse children. This register will be shared with embassies. So, if you think you are going to get a visa, no country in the world will want to have you as a child abuser, or either a rapist in their country. We intend to continue to name them, we would not hide this register from anybody, your picture will be there, it will be expose to embassies so that they know you for what you are.â€
He noted that with the escalating rate of violence against children in the country means that, â€œwe are building an army of children who will actually show mercy, whose conduct in the society by tomorrow will be such that we will be asking what have we done to ourselves.â€