The Kaduna State Government and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have taken steps to improve the wellbeing of children in the state.
The Permanent Secretary, Planning and Budget Commission, Mr Mahmoud Yamusa, made this known in Zaria, at the opening of a two-day workshop to review the draft Situation Analysis (SitAn) of Children in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop was organised by Planning and Budget Commission with support from UNICEF.
Yamusa, represented by Salisu Lawal, the Director, Development Aid Coordination, noted that the move would help address the prevailing challenges militating against effective children development in the state.
He explained that as the leaders of tomorrow, children’s rights must be protected, to enable them to grow to full potentials and contribute to national development.
He said that the Situation Analysis (SitAn) would provide the baseline for government and partners to improve existing policies, programmes, and activities aimed at ensuring adequate protection and improved wellbeing of the children.
The permanent secretary thanked UNICEF for supporting the state in conducting the study to guide the government and partners in designing interventions to adequately protect the rights of children.
“We thank every stakeholder for working with the state to improve the wellbeing of children.
“I assure you that the Kaduna Government will implement the recommendations of the analysis to guarantee the rights of children and improve their wellbeing,” he said.
Ramatu Aliyu, the Social Policy Specialist of the UNICEF, said that there was no single document that provided a holistic picture of the situation of children in the country.
According to her, the idea behind the SitAn was for Kaduna State and other states in the country to have a comprehensive document on issues affecting the children.
“So, UNICEF decided to support the Federal Government to develop the document as well as the states of the federation because of their peculiarities.
“Children have rights and we must protect such rights as parents, states, and stakeholders, and to do that, we must have a comprehensive document.
“This will enable us to look beyond what we see, and to also look at why we have children on the streets and other issues affecting them so as to find adequate solutions to the problems,” she said.
Aliyu said that the SitAn examined the degree of the realisation of child rights and investigated the unequal realisation of rights across different dimensions.
“This will foster an understanding of the drivers of these inequalities.
“The SitAn serves as a policy reference document for National and states’ planning processes as well as support advocacy design and implementation of child-sensitive policies and programmes,” she added.
According to her, the objective of the workshop is to review the content of the draft SitAn for Kaduna State to facilitate feedback on ways to improve, enrich the document and provide solutions on the next line of action.
The Project Consultant, Dr Jake Dan’Azumi, added that the analysis examined the position of children in the state and the progress made in ensuring improved wellbeing and protection of children.
Dan’Azumi said that the draft also looked at the factors that facilitated or hindered the attainment of child rights.
According to him, the aim is to provide a comprehensive reference on the situation of children in Kaduna State.
“The draft analysis, therefore, looked at the extent to which the rights of children to survival, well-being, education, development, and protection are respected, protected, and fulfilled.
“The analysis was done sectorally to present the status of key indicators on children in the state, policies and legal frameworks as well as the availability, sufficiency, and quality of existing programmes and services,” the consultant added.