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NESG: Multidimensional poverty contributing to child rights violations in Nigeria

NESG: Multidimensional poverty contributing to child rights violations in Nigeria
October 26
13:45 2023

Niyi Yusuf, chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), says the government needs to prioritise children’s wellbeing by giving them access to essential social services.

Speaking on Wednesday at the 29th Nigerian Economic Summit, Yusuf said multidimensional poverty in Nigeria has contributed to the violations of child rights.

He said child rights violations have a negative impact on the development of the country, adding that urgent action is needed to enhance the lives of Nigerian children.

He said more attention should be given to the areas of education, healthcare, and nutrition.

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“Multidimensional poverty in Nigeria is intrinsically linked to child rights violations, with grave economic repercussions,” he said.

“In 2021, Nigeria suffered an astonishing $40 billion loss due to unequal access to education.

“Furthermore, annual per capita growth faces a 0.55% setback stemming from declining school enrolments, while the economic toll of violence against Nigerian children is estimated at approximately USD $6.1 billion.”

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Cristian Munduate, country representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Nigeria, said the government’s commitment to protecting children is “heartwarming”.

“Results can be rapidly achieved for children and the nation, if the decision is made today, then 2024, 2025 and 2026 can be 3 years where Nigeria will succeed by achieving gigantic steps for the realization for child rights,” Munduate said.

“The government has established a coordinating mechanism for social welfare, and it is a unique opportunity for having a reference group at the highest level, that can bring different strategic stakeholders around one leading path for children to survive, thrive and develop.

“These concrete results can be measured by a robust monitoring and evaluation mechanism, paired with an unwavering accountability framework.”

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She said during the ministerial roundtable of the summit, the ministers committed to translating all recommendations to improving children’s rights into action.

“This is a pivotal stride in addressing the multifaceted challenges confronting the lives and prospects of children in Nigeria and will continue to benefit from strong assistance from UNICEF and NESG,” she said.

She added that the ministers also promised to put children at the forefront of governance, business policies, and interventions.

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