‘Not realistic’ — Cross River rejects NBS ranking on child labour

Cross River Cross River
Due to broken homes many of these boys dropped out of school, left their houses to live in the street, they survive by picking waste on the street to sell

Cross River state government has dismissed as untrue a survey report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that it had the highest rate of child labour in the country.

Erasmus Ekpang, Cross River state commissioner for Information, disclosed this in an interview with NAN on Saturday.

On April 18, NBS stated in its report that of the 24.6 million children in child labour in Nigeria, Cross River recorded the highest rate of 67.4 percent, followed by Yobe and Abia states with 62.6 percent and 60.1 percent, respectively.

According to the bureau, child labour is any work that robs children (under 18) of their childhood, potential, and dignity.


Dismissing the report, Ekpang said the figures released did not represent the true position in Cross River.

According to him, the figure for Cross River was not tenable since the government had put measures in place since assumption of office in May 2023 to discourage child labour and to uplift vulnerable segments of the population.

He explained that the measures put in place centred on health, education, agriculture and other empowerment initiatives.


Ekpang said the government had also initiated programmes that empowered women economically and discouraged them from sending their children and wards out as child labourers.

“Women are empowered to take care of themselves and their families. Youths are also not left out of these policies and programmes,” he said.

“The initiatives are mostly in the areas of agriculture and small-scale enterprises.

“We also initiated programmes like school feeding to retain every child in school.”


Ekpang further advised the NBS to revisit its 2022 figures and make amends.

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