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Child labour: ex-Unilorin DVC faults society, government



Prof. Albert Olayemi, Former Deputy Vice-Chancellor Management Services of the University of Ilorin has the menace of child labour thrives in Nigeria due to the failure of all stakeholders.

Olayemi spoke on Saturday during a roundtable discusssion tagged “Child Labour: The Menace of Street Hawking” convened by Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development, held at the University of Ilorin.

He noted that the evidence available indicates that the government and other relevant authorities were not committed to combating the menace despite its grievous implication on the upbringing of children, particularly the girl child.

The ex-DVC explained that the failure of the existing legislation against child labour was occasioned by lack of strict enforcement.

He lamented that governments were not forthcoming on the enforcement pattern of the law against the menace.

According to him, hawking has became pervasive among children, which has paved the way for other associated problems such as child trafficking and rape.

The don expressed concern that the inability to act decisively on the trend has increased ignorance among the downtrodden, thereby emboldening those who perpetuate the menace.

“We feel sufficiently worried and that is why we organized the roundtable about child hawking.

“We have since identified this as one of the challenges facing this part of the country, though we know it is also linked with the issue of poverty,” he said.

Olayemi reiterated that hawking by children, particularly the female, has been one of the practices of bringing up children in the past with its inherent dangers.

“We feel that with urbanization and the expanse in population and social evils that pervade the society, children should be spared by any means from this practice.

“It is no longer worthy and it cannot be seen as a way of bringing up a child anymore because of this hazard,” he warned

He appealed to all stakeholders and the media “can blow the noise louder so that awareness can be further promoted and relevant agencies can wake up”.

Also speaking at the event, Prof Taofeek Ibrahim, Vice-Chancellor of Al-Hikma University, Ilorin, opined that child streeet hawking and labour is determine by the income at family level.

Ibrahim stated that the government at all level must strive to improve the economic condition of the country.

According to him, the government has a lot to do interms of policies and capital investment in the country, which if improved will reduce poverty of which consequences is child labour.

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