James Emejo in Abuja
The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a motion urging the Ministries of Women Affairs and Labour to put modalities in place to arrest the ugly trend of child labour in the country.
It further mandated its Committee on Human Rights to enlighten the public on the need to bring cases of child abuse to the notice of relevant authorities.
The resolution followed a motion moved by Hon. Omosede Igbinedion (PDP, Edo) on the need to stop the increasing rate of child labour, molestation and abuse in Nigeria.
She described as disturbing, â€œthe continued rise in child labour in Nigeria, even as the Childâ€™s Rights Act has been passed by the National Assembly to tackle the malaise.â€
The lawmaker, further expressed concern that recent data published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicated Â that 50.8 per cent of Nigerian children between the ages of 5 and 17 are engaged in child labour.
She added that a similar survey by the National Population Commission (NPC) in 2014 â€œshowed that 50 per cent of Nigerian children have experienced physical violence and between that 2014 to date, there has not been any improvement.â€
She noted: â€œChild labour entails work that are mentally, physically or morally harmful to the children and deprives them good education. Such children are molested to do inhumane works beyond them, including sexual abuse, which stunt the general development of the concerned children.â€
Members backed the motion.
Hon. Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta) said child labour had become rampant and must be addressed
He said: â€œItâ€™s the responsibility of government to arrest the situation by implementing a budget in 2018.â€
Hon. Aisha Dukku (APC, Gombe) said the Basic education Act must be implemented in addressing the issue.
Hon. Henry Ofongo (PDP, Rivers) said the problem had always been the failure to implement existing laws.
He said authorities are not doing enough to stop child molestation, stressing that despite the UBE, many children still roamed the streets.