By Obike Ukoh
Members of the National Child’s Rights Implementation Committee (NCRIC), have stressed the need for strengthening of the committee through the inclusion of critical stakeholders as members to boost its activities.
The Committee in a communiqué issued after a three-day retreat in Kaduna, noted that organisations, such as National Agency for Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), among others are, not statutory members of NCRIC.
Section 260 of the Child’s Rights Act, 2003, empowers NCRIC to popularise the provisions of the law and monitor implementation in states that have domesticated the legislation.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 24 states have domesticated the Act but not all the states that have done so have established a Child’s Rights Act Implementation Committee.
The committee members also recommended the strengthening of NCRIC secretariat domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, organisers of the retreat, to facilitate optimal discharge of its functions.
The members also recommended advocacy visits to policy makers, including the vice-president, National Assembly, media organisations, among others, on the law.
The participants resolved to carry out awareness campaigns on the Child’s Rights Act in one state each in the six geo-political zones.
The communiqué was signed by Dr MacJohn Nwaobiala, Co-Chairman of NCRIC. and Mrs Jummai Mohammed, the Director, Child Development, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
Nigeria inaugurated NCRIC in 1994 but due to funding constraints, the committee could not meet since 2010.
NCRIC was re-inaugurated on May 10 in Abuja through funding by Rule of Law and Anti-corruption (RoLAC) programme, funded by European Union and implemented by the British Council.
RoLAC at the re-inauguration on May, promised to sponsor a three-day retreat to acquaint members of the mandate of NCRIC and Child’s Rights Act. The retreat held in Kaduna from Aug. 30 to July 1.
The permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Woman Affairs and Social Development is the chairman of the committee, while members are drawn from relevant ministries, agencies and partners.