The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has felicitated Nigerian children on the occasion of the 2020 Children’s Day.
Mr Lawan noted that the day was set aside to highlight the challenges children face, with a view to promoting their well-being and happiness.
The Senate President, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Ola Awoniyi, said the surest route to a happy and fulfilling future for children was to provide them quality education and healthcare.
He also identified their protection against all forms of abuse as other means to fulfil their future.
Mr Lawan said it was this realisation that led the federal government, in 1976, to introduce Universal Primary Education, which in 1999 was expanded to Universal Basic Education.
He said the federal government’s enactment of the Child Right’s Act in 2003 was also to give children a sense of belonging.
The senate president, however, expressed concern that in spite of all such efforts, Nigeria was still heavily burdened with a high number of out-of-school children.
The situation, he said portends grave danger for the country and was unacceptable.
“I want to use the opportunity of this occasion to assure our children that the National Assembly is fully aware of the challenges that they face and will continue to work to guarantee a better future.
“I also call on the authorities at the sub-national level who have not done so, to domesticate the Child’s Rights Act for the sake of the future of our children,” Mr Lawan said.
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The senate president called for collaboration between the federal and state governments in comprehensively addressing issues relating to the plight of Nigerian children.
On the part of parents, Mr Lawan urged them to dutifully play their own role in providing the immediate needs for their children, adding that the future peace of the country depended on it.