New bill on Child Rights before Jigawa House of Assembly

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Alhaji Rabiu Nasoro, the Director of Social Welfare, Jigawa Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development  says a new child rights bill is before the State House of Assembly for domestication.

Soro who made this known in an interview on Monday in Dutse,  explained that the bill if passed into law, will give a child some rights and privileges.

The Director stated that the new bill is also aimed at curtailing street begging and child abuse in the state.

Nasoro explained that government also was worried over cases of abandoned children.

“We record cases of abandonment. Babies are being thrown into gutters, streets or road side, this is very unfortunate. We suspect that these children were born out of wedlock and the parents were ashamed to keep them,” he said.

“Once we pick up these babies, we give them up for adoption on demand. We normally request for full biography and socio-economic status of the person to asses if he or she can shoulder the responsibility.”

On Oct. 12, the Deputy Speaker, Jigawa House of Assembly, Ahmad Garba, explained why the state had yet to enact a new child rights act saying the initial law was repealed because it did not follow due process before enactment.

He said once due process was followed, the state would pass any bill that would adequately take care of children.

Garba also gave reasons for the cancellation of the previous law.

This he said included inadequate input from citizens and ambiguous sections that needed explanations.

He also said the bill, a domestication of the federal act, was signed into law by the then secretary to the state government (SSG) which was not the right procedure.

He explained further that the initial bill was passed in 2012 and signed into law by the SSG who was then the acting governor.

“The law was in place before it was later repealed in the same year 2012,” he added.

“The power of Nigeria’s constitution authorises the state governor or his deputy in an acting capacity to sign the law into being.

This is the major reasons why the child rights act was repealed by the state House of Assembly.

After debates by the Parliamentarians, the bill was eventually passed into Law by the National Assembly in July 2003.

It was assented to by the then President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in September 2003, and promulgated as the Child’s Rights Act 2003.

The Act is a legal document that sets out the rights and responsibilities of a child in Nigeria and provides for a system of child justice administration.

However, only 23 states in the country have passed the Act  for onward enforcement.

These include; Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Benue, Cross River, Delta, , Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Kwara, Kogi, Lagos, Nassarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, and Taraba.  (NAN)

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