By Bashir Bello
The Kano State House of Assembly has pledged to ensure speedy passage of the child protection bill into law in the state in order to address issues around child abuse and violence.
The Majority Leader, Kabir Hassan Dashi made this known when the members of the Assembly received in audience a youth-led Non-Governmental Organization, Bridge Connect Africa Initiatives and other Civil Society Organizations working around the passage of the Child Protection bill in the state.
Dashi said the assembly will not hesitate to pass the bill as soon as it is transmitted to it by the state Ministry of Justice.
Similarly, the Chairman, House Committee on Public Health, Musa Ali Kachako assured that the house would not relent in the deliberation and passage of the bill.
According to him, “as far as Kano State House of Assembly is concerned, child protection bill is an issue of concern which will be keenly deliberated as soon as it is transmitted to the house looking at it importance.
“This is a bill that has seen the light of the day in Nigeria as a context, of course, it needs to be replicated in states especially state like Kano that is very key to the health and welfare of children.
“As far as Kano State House Assembly is concerned, child protection is a very key issue and important.
“Kano Assembly is concerned about the issue of health and that is why if you review the 8th assembly, a larger per cent of the laws that have been passed are concerning health and healthcare delivery. So we are not going to relent on the issue on child protection,” Kachako said.
Earlier, leader of the group and the Executive Director, Bridge Connect Africa Initiatives, BCAI, Sani Muhammad said seventeen years after the federal government passed the bill into law, Kano state was yet to domesticate the bill.
Muhammad, however, said they were in the assembly to advocate the lawmakers on the need to ensure the bill is speedily passed in the state.
“The child protection bill is very important to combat the current societal ills of child sexual and gender-based violence of all kinds including rape, forced marriage, street begging, out of school children as well as child slavery and trafficking which has become a trend in Kano where children are trafficked to other states since there are currently no strong laws to safeguard the rights of children in Kano as well as their interests. The Bill is not just there to protect children, but will also strengthen many other government policies such as social protection policy, the new Kano state education policy on compulsory education, and children’s health and well-being.
“We want the Kano State House of Assembly which is a very significant one that serves as a model to other northern state assemblies to lead by example, and for that reason, if the house prioritizes the passage of the bill into law, it will go a long way in encouraging other state assemblies to replicate and borrow a left from the state,” Muhammad said.
In a related development, a group, known as Action Against Hunger working on Child Development Grant Project, CDGP through its Project Manager, Stella Esedunme seek the support of the legislatures for speedy legislation of a social protection bill which it said is in a finalizing stage of the documentation for onward transmission to the house.