The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has commended Kebbi Government for
signing into law, the state’s Child Rights Bill that was passed by the State House of Assembly.
UNICEF’s Representative in Nigeria, Mr Peter Hawkins, made the commendation in a statement issued to newsmen in Lagos on Monday.
Hawkins, therefore, called on the government to allocate and release adequate resources, as well as put in place mechanisms for full
implementation of the law to grant children the rights enshrined in it.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bill was recently signed into law by Gov. Abubakar Bagudu at the weekly Executive Council
Meeting at the Council Chambers of Government House, Birnin Kebbi.
Bagudu also signed into law, the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) bill during the weekly Executive Council Meeting.
Hawkins said “by providing legislation that protects the rights of children, Kebbi has taken the right decision to provide an enabling
environment to thrive and allow children to reach their full potential.
“Putting in place this law is good but just the first step; the Kebbi Government must take the next important step by putting in place
structures and allocate resources for its full implementation.
“On its part, UNICEF will continue to collaborate with the state government on interventions that contribute to the fulfillment of the
rights of children.”
The UNICEF representative urged the government to ensure that the law was gazetted without delay and called on states yet
to domesticate the Child Rights Act (2003) to do so without further delay.
He noted that 31 states had so far enacted the equivalents of the Child Rights Act, while five states — Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe,
Kano and Zamfara were yet to domesticate the law.
The National Assembly (NASS) enacted the Child Rights Act in 2003, derived from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
to which Nigeria is a signatory.
The 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are expected to domesticate the law but some states have yet to do that.