The Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has pledged the unflinching support of FCT administration to the protection and general welfare of children in the territory.
She gave the pledge at a joint news conference organised by the FCT in collaboration with the Ministry of Women Affairs in Abuja to commemorate the 2021 National Children’s Day.
The minister who was represented by the Acting Director of FCTA, Social Development Secretarial, Dr. Kelvin Ike said that the FCT authority had made efforts to protect children against COVID-19 pandemic, adding that all FCT child institution and schools were operating with strict compliance with COVID-19 preventive guidelines.
She further noted that the administration was not retrogressing in caring for the orphans and vulnerable children, noting that the administration was taking possible steps to support vulnerable children to attain their maximum potential in life.
Aliyu, however, expressed concerned of the FCT administration to the menace of street children which had been a menace to the administration.
The categories of street children she are: street beggars, hawkers, and the al-majiris.
According to her, the children ought to be in the school but find themselves on the street,begging or hawking.
“We are not relenting in our efforts to address the menace. FCT administration is not relenting in the struggle to eliminate the menace of street children.
“We are in the process of reconstituting the Child Right Implementation Committee as provided in the Child Right Act, 2003 towards that effect.
“The committee when put in place will be embarking on activities such as advocacy, preventive, institutional and follow up programmes which will go a long way in addressing the menace,” she said.
She, therefore, appealed to parents, guardians, religious and traditional rulers, NGOs and concerned people to support the administration in the struggle to ensure that children are placed in their rightful positions.
Also the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, solicited the support of Governors and State Legislatures and other critical stakeholders to push for the domestication of the Child Rights Act, 2003 and VAPP Act 2015.
She used the occasion to urge the media to continue to report and bring to the attention of stakeholders every incident of child abuses and violations.
Children’s Day is a commemorative date celebrated annually in honor of children . It was first proclaimed in Geneva in 1925 during the World Conference on Child Welfare. But the officially recognized date of Children’s Day varies from country to country. It is officially recognized in Nigeria on May 27.