The House of Representatives Committee on Human Rights has called for the establishment of National Child Protection and Enforcement Agency to cater for the welfare of children in Nigeria.
The Chairman of the committee, Rep. Beni Lar (PDP-Plateau), made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday.
It would be recalled that the bill sponsored by Lar passed second reading on the floor of the house on May 13.
“The bill basically seeks to provide necessary protection and care for the Nigerian child,’’ she said.
According to her, when established, the agency will investigate and prosecute persons who violate children’s rights as contained in the Child’s Rights Act.
She urged President Goodluck Jonathan to sign the bill into law when it was passed by the National Assembly to protect the interest of children in the country.
The committee chairman said that the proposed Act would empower the proposed agency to prosecute because the powers was absent in the Child’s Rights Act.
“It gives investigative and prosecutable powers to the agency on those who contravene any part thereof and those found wanting of violating the Act,’’ she said.
She explained that the agency getting funds for its operations would not be a problem as it could receive money in form of gift and as well borrow.
“In drafting this bill, we decided to give it so much flexibility to accept gifts from members of the public, institutions, endowment, philanthropists and organisations after approval by the council and minister,’’ she said.
Lar said that this would go a long way in running the activities of the agency.
The lawmaker said that in addition to the functions of the agency, it would monitor activities of orphanage operating across the country.
“There is organisation monitoring the activities of orphanage and you find people selling babies and opening babies’ factory,’’ she said.
She explained that the lack of welfare for children informed the need for a special law to enhance their welfare. (NAN)