Niger set to confront child, force Labour 

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Niger set to confront child, force Labour
By: Yahaya zakka Minna
The Niger State Government has reiterated commitment to protecting the dignity of children through elimination of child labour and forced labour in the state.
This was disclosed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mineral Resources, Alhaji Abubakar Idris during a meeting with the officials of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and a team of Non Governmental Organizatios (NGOs) at the Ministry’s headquarters in Minna recently.
The Permanent Secretary who received the team discussed on the forthcoming flag-off programme of Child Labour Elimination beneficiaries in Shiroro and Suleja Local Government Areas.
 He said the exposure of children to forced labour and other dangerous activities was a call for concern and totally unacceptable emphasising that the Government under the leadership of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello was poised to supporting programmes aimed at curbing the challenge.
He directed the team to forward an Executive Summary of the intervention programmes adding that it was important for the development partners to articulate a defined role the government would play in the oncoming programmes with a view to adding to the number of Beneficiaries from the starter packs.
Earlier, the leader of the team and Controller Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Niger State office,Inuwa Yakubu said they were at Ministry to intimate the Permanent Secretary on the ongoing intervention programmes on Elimination of Child Labour and to seek the state government participation in the forthcoming empowerment of trainees as well as explore areas of further collaboration.
He disclosed that the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Federal Ministry of Labour was set to flag-off distribution of starter packs to trainees in various skills including tailoring, hairdressing, barbing among others in the state.
The Controller further informed the Permanent Secretary that ILO programme interventions in the state started in 2019 and will end in April, 2023 and therefore, called on the state to take ownership of the Programme to ensure its sustainability.
Representative of Raise Foundation, Mr. Okama Moses said Accelerating action for the elimination of child labour in supply chains in Africa (ACCEL AFRICA) is a Dutch’s funded project adding that the programme started with the distribution of Back-to-School kits,where 500 children were presented with customized school bags, books among others and enrolled in schools under Shiroro and Suleja LGAs.
Mr. Moses disclosed that arrangement has been concluded to further empower 500 parents and youth on the 14th and 15th September and therefore, stressed the need to take ownership of the project and ensure its sustainability in the state.
It will be recalled that, the ACCEL Africa Project is focused on the elimination of all forms of child labour and forced labour from Nigeria particularly Niger State, from its Artisanal Gold Mining, where the practice is most prevalent.

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