The Federal Government has announced plans to launch a national campaign to end child marriage in 2016.
The Director of Women and Gender Affairs at the Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs Esther Mshelia, said this at a meeting organised by the Ministry to sensitize those responsible for child protection at the state level.
She said that the launch will help mobilize support to end the upsurge in early child marriages and also address barriers to prosecution of culprits.
Deliberating on how the menace of child marriage can be put to an end, officials of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development said that they do not want a re-occurrence of the ugly incident of the abduction of Ese Oruru and several other young girls.
Discussions at the meeting also focused on how to work with key players in ensuring that the rights of the girl child is not violated as statistics from the ministry shows that Nigeria has a high prevalence of child marriage with the north eastern region ranking highest with 26%.
While early child marriage exposes the girl child to diseases and population explosion, health experts believe the menace also causes Nigeria a huge economic burden.
One key decision made at the meeting is that cases of early marriage must be reported and culprits appropriately sanctioned to serve as a deterrent to others.