The Federal Government has said it would prosecute 634 child labour offenders.
It alleged that the culprits committed the crimes between 2018 and 2019.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, disclosed this during a workshop for media practitioners on child labour reporting and presentation of the National Advocacy Strategy on the Elimination of Child Labour in Abuja.
Represented by the Director, Inspectorate Department in the ministry, Mr. Dauda Ajuwon, the Labour minister noted that the state Labour Offices reported 5,401 and 3,937 child labour infractions in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
A statement on Monday by the ministry’s spokesman, Charles Akpan, titled ‘FG set to prosecute 634 child labour offenders,’ which made this known, quoted the minister as saying that the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, as the coordinating ministry on the National Committee on Child Labour, had achieved a lot since 2013.
According to him, the achievements include, among others, the development of the National Policy on Child Labour, the National Action Plan on the Elimination of Child Labour and the Development and Validation of the National Reporting Template on Child Labour.
He said 1,494 and 1,278 victims and their families have been empowered in 2018 and 2019 respectively, while 287 and 342 offenders were being prosecuted.
Ngige stressed that a good advocacy strategy and effective child labour reporting was very important in the attainment of ‘Target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals’ which seeks to eliminate child labour, especially its worst forms by 2025.
The statement added: “Ngige recalled that the Accelerating Action for the Elimination of Child Labour in supply chains in Africa, tagged ACCEL Africa Project, was launched in Nigeria on 2nd May 2019 in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation through the support of the Government of Netherlands.”
According to him, the ACCEL Africa Project in partnership with Child Labour Unit of the Ministry of Labour and Employment organised series of stakeholders meetings and developed a plan of actions aimed at taking immediate and accelerated steps in eliminating child labour in supply chains with a focus on cocoa farming and artisanal gold mining in Ondo and Niger states.