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Social protection program, remedy to Nigeria’s child labour issues – Marcus Williams

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The Secretary of the State Steering Committee on the Elimination of Child Labour in Oyo state, Mr. Marcus Williams has disclosed that social protection program is the only way to curb child labour in Nigeria.

Williams, while speaking during the commemoration of the World Day Against Child Labour in Oyo State lamented that child labour such as sexual exploitation, hawking and begging for arms should be checkmated before it gets out of hand.

The event which was held at the Conference Room of the Federal Secretariat, Ikolaba Ibadan had in attendance stakeholders from different schools across the state.

Williams noted that this years World Day Against Child Labour theme: “Universal Social Protection to End Child Labour” was held to create more awareness and put an end to child labour in the state and Nigeria at large.

He however said that the programme was not just to create awareness but to also raise vanguards among students against child labour.

One of the participants at the program, Mrs. Adebayo said the initiative would assist students to stay in their respective schools.

According to her, “My organisation Haven Initiative started a school feeding programme last year and till date we feed 50 children daily and also pay for after school lessons. The children have been consistent in school since then and they have never miss lesson nor school. I am glad this programme is coming to Oyo State and please note that it requires lots of monitoring.”

Earlier in his speech, the state controller, Federal Ministry of Labour, Festus Igbinosun maintained that the International Labour Organisation, (ILO) has been taking necessary steps in ensuring that child labour is fully eradicated by year 2025, adding that the only aspect on child labour affecting Oyo state is street hawking.

The programme is a symposium for students from various schools within the state to showcase their knowledge about child labour and also urged those guilty of the offence to desist from the act.

Schools also partake in the competition where they all spoke on the dangers of child labour in form of debate, short playlets, miming in order to pass a clear message across to perpetrators of this act.

Schools in attendance include; Royal College, Emmanuel College, Abadina College University of Ibadan, Queens School Apata, Methodist Grammer School Bodija, St. Patricks School Bashorun, Oba Akinbiyi Model College School 2, Ikolaba High School and Government College Ibadan among others.

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