From Maduabuchi Nmeribeh, Kano
The Child Right bill will soon be passed into law in Kano as the state government on Thursday reiterated its commitment to protect and guarantee the rights of children in Kano.
The state Commissioner of Information, Malam Muhammad Garba who revealed this in his office hinted that already, Kano state Executive Council has sent the Child Right bill to Kano state House of Assembly, waiting hopefully
for its passage into law.
Garba made this known while receiving the Speaker of Kano Children Parliament, Hon. Amir Mahmud and Executive members of Kano state chapter of the National Council for Child Right Advocacy of Nigeria (NCCAN).
He described NCCAN as a very important organization, adding that, “I have listened to the presentation of the state Coordinator of this important organization, and I want to believe that they have raised quite a number of
issues that have to do with the welfare of our children and the development of the Children Parliament.
“These issues are very important because any responsible government must promote the progress of our children.
“So, there is the need for us to look at most of these issues that they have outlined. We have the issue of child protection, child development, child engagement, child survival, and child participation, child education, among others.”
He further stated that, “these are very important issues; and as you have rightly pointed out, Kano state government has done a lot in this area. For instance in the area of education, His Excellency, Governor
Abdullahi Umar Ganduje made a pronouncement in May last year—free, compulsory basic and secondary education, and who are the beneficiaries of this policy—they are our children.
“You can see the implementation of this programme is already ongoing. The Governor has started implementing some of the aspects of this laudable policy by the provision of free school uniform across the 44 Local Government
Area; free feeding and free distribution of instructional materials, among others.
“I think this is part of the strategies that is being adopted by His Excellency to ensure that our children have access to free and qualitative education.”
According to him, “I am also aware that the Ministry of Health is taking the issue of child nutrition very very serious in Kano. Just yesterday, the Honourable Commissioner for Health in our Council meeting made a very very serious presentation about the issue of child nutrition. The state government is currently collaborating with NGOs and other organizations to ensure that we have healthy children.
“If you look at the issue of polio, which also part of the problems we are having, the Governor has done a lot from 2015 till date. He has been able to make a huge impact on polio eradication with the support of Dangote
Foundation and Bill and Melinda Foundation.
The prgramme is ongoing and government is spending a lot of money to ensure that we have a free polio
society here in Kano.”
He added that, “on the issue of the bill for the protection of children—that is the Child Right Bill, it has been presented to the state Assembly since last year. The Commissioner of Justice presented the bill before
the state Executive Council.
“There were some corrections and we were able to work finally on the bill towards the last tenure of His Excellency, and it was presented before the state House of Assembly for them to look at it and do the needful—that is to make sure that they pass the bill into law, but unfortunately, it was towards the election period, and you know that this is a new Assembly, but I am sure the Speaker is also concerned about the Child Right Act.”
He pointed out that, “the issues you have raised are the issues that have to do with about four Ministries in Kano. So, I will advise that you see the Honourable Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social
Development, I also advise that you see the Honourable Commissioner of Health, and then probably, the State Assembly so that you can also see the content of the bill as presented by the state Executive Council so that if there is any input that you need to make, you add to what we have already presented to the State Assembly.
“I believe such step will help because you are stakeholders as far as this bill is concerned.
“So, I want to most sincerely thank you for this courtesy call and for congratulating on my re-appointment. I appreciate this solidarity and I want to assure you that I will continue to be part and parcel of this organization.”
In his brief remarks, Speaker of Kano Children Parliament, Hon. Amir Mahmud decried the depravation of children’s right and appealed to the state government to ensure the welfare and development of children in the
state through the quick passage of the Child Right bill.
Mahmud also appealed to Governor Ganduje to introduce free-child-medical care so that children in the state will access to quality healthcare.
Also speaking, the state Coordinator of NCCAN, Aisha Haruna Kabuga said the organization is focusing on four formatic areas which include child protection, child survival, child development and child participation.
She also called for the implementation of Child Right law in Kano, just as she appealed to state government to establish Child Rescue Centre in Kano.
However, NCCAN presented a congratulatory plaque to Muhammad Garba, heralding his re-appointment as the state Commissioner of Information and Culture.