The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has called on governments at all levels to increase funding for the protection of rights of children in Nigeria.
Mr Bhanu Pathak, Chief Field Office, UNICEF Bauchi, made the call at the launching of the report on Financial Benchmark and Economic Burden of Violence Against Children in Nigeria on Wednesday in Jos.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the launch of document was for Gombe and Plateau states.
Pathak represented by Mr Amos Kudzala, the Officer-in-Charge of the field office, said the launch of the two reports provided first-hand information on the high economic cost of violence against children in Nigeria.
“The launch of these reports today affords us the opportunity to know firsthand, what we are putting into child protection as well as its high economic cost.
“The report points out clearly that there is huge financial loss from cumulative loss earnings due to loss of productivity as a result of sufferings associated with various degrees of violence,’’he said.
According to Pathak, the findings of the two studies point to the strong need for increased funding of interventions by government to prevent and respond to violence against children in Nigeria.
“So, it becomes critically imperative for all of us to join hands together and protect the children of Nigeria from neglect and abuse.
“This can only be possible if government re-commits to adequately fund services through huge budgetary allocations that will protect children from violence,” he said.
Unveiling the document, Mrs Hassana Ayika, Permanent Secretary, Plateau State Ministry of Women and Affairs and Social Development, said the launch was timely.
Ayika pledged continuous support and commitment of the State Government in protecting the rights of children in the state.
“Plateau has since keyed into the call to protect the rights of children in the country.
“We have enacted the Child Rights Law and even established the family Court to address any violation of the rights of children.
“So, Plateau is already leading on issues of child protection,” she said.
NAN reports that the launch of the two documents aimed at “creating awareness on the need to increase allocations and expenditures for child protection services and disseminate information on the need to spend more on Child Protection, among others’’. (NAN)