Every Nigerian Should Have Legal Identity by 2030, Says UNICEF

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Kuni Tyessi in Abuja

The United Nations is working assiduously with the federal government towards ensuring that come 2030, every Nigerian is captured and have a legal identity.

This was announced in Abuja recently by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in an official open letter by its Nigeria representative, Peter Hawkins, to every Nigerian child in commemoration of the 30 years of existence of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The letter stated that Nigeria has made a lot of progress even though so much more needs to be done towards ensuring that all children have rights that are realised and sustained generations to come.

While emphasising that many children in Nigeria have been robbed of their childhood due to conflict and insecurity, it said too many children were still subject to violence, discrimination, exploitation, hunger, and have not been able to go to school, especially girls.

“We also need to recognise how much more needs to be done to ensure that all children, each and every one of you have every right realised, now and for generations to come.

“For example, the UN has set a goal that every human being on the planet will have a legal identity by 2030, and together with your government, we are working hard to make that happen in Nigeria.

“In the 30 years since its adoption, the CRC has helped to transform the lives of children like you worldwide. It established that children are not the property of adults, but people in their own right, with rights of their own.

“We also have goals around education. Too many young Nigerians don’t have full education that will prepare them for modern jobs and business opportunities.

“Many children in families with low incomes are left behind and miss out on the opportunities afforded to wealthier families. These children are in poverty trap determined entirely by the family they are born into. This is not fair.”

The letter further stated that in fulfilling the rights of every Nigerian child, leaders must take into action issues that affect their lives.