By Victor Ahiuma- Young
THE Federal Government has pleaded with market authorities in the country to join forces with government in the fight against child labour.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, William Alo, made the call at a rally organised by the Ministry as part of events in commemoration of the 2019 World Day Against Child Labour, WDACL, in Nigeria.
A statement by Rhoda Iliya, Assistant Director Press, in the Ministry, quoted Mr. Alo as starting that Market authorities could fight child labour by disallowing child labour in the markets and environs, and taking practical steps to ensure that children were in school or vocational training.
Alo also encouraged Market authorities to report incidences of child labour to the Ministry of Labour and Employment for necessary action, defining child labour in the market as “any work done in the market that deprives children of their childhood, their potentials and dignity, and that is harmful to their physical, moral and mental development, such as hawking, among others.”
According to him, the theme for this year’s commemoration is “Children Shouldn’t Work in Fields but on Dreams”, stressing that even if children had to be in market places assisting their parents/guardians, they should not be denied basic education.
In a remark, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Abubakar Muazu, stated that the adequate development of a child should be the utmost priority of any country, because children constituted the future of a people.
He encouraged all stakeholders to accord the necessary importance and attention to the issues of child labour.
Speaking also, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammed Bello Umar, represented by Director, Food and Strategic Reserve, Engr S. A. Haruna, condemned child labour, and called for proper legislation against Child Labour in Nigeria.