As Nigeria joins the international community to celebrate the Day of the African Child, President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged that the government would continue to protect children from sexual violence, domestic abuse and exploitation.
The President also reiterated that his administration will continue to ensure that every Nigerian child has access to quality and affordable education by promoting free and compulsory basic education for the first nine years of schooling.
He was quoted to have said this in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Femi Adesina.
Speaking further, the president expressed concerns over the recent spate of sexual and physical violence on the girl-child and therefore, directed relevant government agencies to scale up support for victims of violence and ensure that those who have infringed on their rights face the full weight of our laws.
He affirmed that it is the right of every Nigerian child to be protected from sexual or physical violence and abuse and to enjoy an environment conducive for learning and development.
The President recognises that this year’s commemorative activities with the theme, “Access to a Child-Friendly Justice System in Africa,” have moved online due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
On the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the education sector, he noted that school-age children have been forced to continue education and learning online, as well as through the electronic media.
Recognizing that not all children have access to the tools and resources to do this, the President assured Nigerians that the priority of the Federal Government is to ensure that things get back to normal as soon as possible.
He noted that while dealing with the threats posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government cannot allow education and learning to take the back seat.
The President, therefore, encouraged all Nigerians to take a moment this day to celebrate the African child, who represents a better future for all of us.
“Nigeria is blessed with exceptional and remarkable children and this government is ever ready to help the Nigerian child achieve their dreams and build a better tomorrow,” he said.