Kubwa residents task govt. to end child labour
Residents of Kubwa Satellite town in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Sunday called for the implementation of laws to end child labour in the area.
In an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Chikakore, Kubwa, some of the residents called for appropriate measures to discourage it and to punish perpetrators.
Mrs Rebecca Briggs, a business woman, said that children of school age should not be allowed to be hawking while their mates are in school.
“If you go around Chikakore, you find a lot of children hawking and selling different things; this is not good.
“The children are exposed to different dangers in the society especially the females, which can also affect them psychologically.
“Parents who send these children out for such things need to be punished because they are violating the child’s rights.
“The federal government needs to implement laws that would safeguard the rights of these young ones.”
Mr Wale Fatoyibo, however, said that the issue is not about implementing laws to punish child labour offenders, it is about eradicating poverty in the society.
“Children who come from wealthy homes do not hawk on the streets, children hawk because they need to contribute to the needs of their families.
“If parents can send their children to school, health centres, have good shelter over their heads, it will reduce sending their children to hawk.’’
Also, Pastor Titus Agada, said education should be the first start in life for children rather than being used for labour.
According to him, children should never be put in a situation where they are the bread winners of the family.
Agada appealed to the government to implement laws that would protect children against child labour as a way of ensuring a better future for them.
“When we have laws that protect these children, we can be guaranteed that the future of the country is secured.
“When there are such laws, people will be careful not to break them due to fear of being arrested or charged to court.
“If these children continue roaming the streets, they would be exposed to many social vices which would be bad for our society.”
Speaking with one of the hawkers, 13-year old Hannatu Gambo, who was selling groundnut cakes, said she was hawking to get money to pay for her school fees.
NAN reports that children from the age of five to 15 in Chikakore in Kubwa hawks different types of stuffs like warnut, groundnuts, vegetables, pepper and cooked food. (NAN)