6 November 2006

Nigeria: Touts Issue Permits to Child Hawkers

Children hawking on the streets of Lagos now havepermits to do so issued to them by touts who present themselves as local government officials. The disclosure was made at the Nation Builders Forum, organised in collaboration with the Lagos State government.

The forum, which heldat the Alausa auditorium, Ikeja, focussedon the dissemination of information on child rights. Mr. Bosun Hamzat, special adviser to Governor BolaTinubu on Computer Education, who represented the commissioner for Education, Dr. Leke Pitan, commended the contributions of the present administrationto the free education progr-amme and the plight of the less privileged children in the state. He enjoined parents to desist from depriving their children of education, warning that any parent whose children were arrested for street trading would be severely sanctioned. Also speaking, Mrs J. Efunbowale Gbadebo of the Directorate for Citizenship Rights gave a comprehensive briefing on the Child Rights Bill and how it could be fully implemented. She suggested that government should ensure effective and adequate infrastructure as well as security of lives and properties. While expressing gratitude for the support of the Ministry of Information and Strategy, Alausa and other well-meaning organisations, Mr. Apotieri Damilola, Chief Executive of Nation Builders, enjoined parents and guardians to adequately cater for their children. He urged children to acquire entrepreneurship skills in addition to their academic capability by surfing meaningfully on the Internet rather than concentrating on "Yahoo fraudulent practices".

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