As Lagos joined the rest of the world to celebrate this year’s edition of the International Day of the African Child, wife of the State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode at the weekend expressed optimism that there was greater hope ahead for the Nigerian Child.
Mrs. Ambode, who spoke at the celebration of the 2017 International Day of the African Child, organized by the African Women Lawyers’ Association in Alausa, Ikeja, said that though there were subsisting challenges facing the children in some areas, there were sufficient reasons to believe in the realization of the 2030 continental agenda for sustainable development of the African child.
She said that since the annual celebration of the day began in 1991, marginal successes had been recorded in overall improvement of circumstances around the children across Africa, noting however, that the Lagos State Government was working hard to remove all impediments in the way of their happiness and fulfillment.
According to her, “The theme of this year’s celebration: ‘Accelerating Protection, Empowerment And Equal Opportunity For Children In Africa By 2030’, gives the needed reassurance, that our country is at work on the great agenda, to take the children to where they ought to be.
“Lagos State has continued to open employment opportunities for children through education and sports. Inter-school sports competitions have been re-introduced among primary and secondary schools. This is intended to catch them young for sporting glory, and expose them to global opportunities for fame, wealth and fulfillment”, she stressed.
The Governor’s wife, who listed other child-friendly achievements of the State Government to include the passage of the Child Right Law, family courts and inter-school sports competition promised that the Government would do more to get fulfillment for children in the state.
She commended the African Women Lawyers’ Association for their efforts and called on forward-looking bodies and NGOs, to partner the State Government to improve the welfare of children.
Corroborating her, the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary and Solicitor General, Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Funmilola Odunlami, said the historic event must serve as a constant reminder of the duty parents owe their children.
The Governor said that his administration remains committed to helping children get fulfillment in an environment free of neglect, abuse and violent exploitation.
He said, “We have invested huge resources in the provision and upgrading of infrastructure in our schools to create a conducive learning environment. We believe that quality education is the most powerful tool for empowerment and creation of equal opportunities in a competitive and knowledge-driven 21st century.
“This historic event must serve as a constant reminder of the duty we owe our children to guarantee them, a better future in an increasingly competitive and knowledge-driven global system. This celebration therefore provides us the opportunity to restate our commitment to the protection of our children and also provide them all the opportunities that they require to release their full potentials”.
The Governor assured that the welfare and protection of children in the state would continue to be a priority.
Speakers at the event, Mr. Shina Sofola (SAN) and Miss. Chetanna Amaza, urged children to boldly voice out any ills committed against them while urging them to be diligent and hardworking to achieve success.
June 16 every year is observed as the International Day of the African Child, to raise awareness on the plight of children in Africa.