Ministry to launch National Priority Agenda to meet children?s needs

The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, has said that it has concluded plans to launch the National Priority Agenda 2013 to 2020 to meet the needs of Nigerian children.
Hajiya Zainab Maina, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, said that the agenda was in line with the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan.
She added that the agenda was also sequel to the vision 20:2020 of the present administration.
The agenda is aimed at ensuring the protection of the most vulnerable children and also to reduce child poverty.
She said that the agenda would be carried out through elimination of unfair and avoidable circumstances that deprived Nigerian children of their rights.
According to her, “the overall goal of the national priority agenda is to reduce the number of children living in poverty to 15 per cent.
“It is also to significantly improve the quality of life and wellbeing of all vulnerable children.?
Maina said that poverty was the major contributing factor to child vulnerability; hence the need for commitment from all stakeholders.
She said poor and vulnerable children needed to benefit from equitable access and comprehensive social protection services.
“The commitment in this new agenda is to ensure that all children are safe and free from abuse, violence, exploitation and neglect.
“It is also to ensure that they are healthy, well-nourished and have access to quality basic education.?
The minister said that it was important for state governments to implement the provisions of the child rights act, which was still the challenge being faced.
She said that the act provided a basis for entrenchment of all the rights of the Nigerian child, adding that states that had not passed the act were being unfair to their children.
According to the National Guidelines on Orphans and Vulnerable Children 2008, national health policies in Nigeria do not support free services and nutrition among these children.
The report added that those children do not receive nutritional support; do not have access to education, healthcare and clean water while their caregivers lack knowledge about their needs.

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