OrderPaperToday – The Senate has passed for second reading, a bill seeking the establishment of the National Commission on Child Destitution in Nigeria.

The bill titled ‘A Bill For An Act To Provide For The Establishment Of The National Commission on Child Destitution in Nigeria,’ is sponsored by Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko (APC, Sokoto North).

Leading the debate on the general principles of the Bill on Wednesday, Senator Wamakko recalled that the bill was read for the first time in the Red Chamber on Tuesday, 29 October 2019.

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The bill according to the sponsor seeks to provide for an Act to provide for the establishment of the National Commission on Child Destitution in Nigeria to serve as an intervention programme to eradicate, rehabilitate and prohibit the menace of Child Destitution in Nigeria.
He explained that the need for an Act to establish the Commission was in accordance with Sections 16(1), (2)(d), and Sections 17(3)(e) (f) and 18 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended).
“We are all living witnesses to the negative consequences of child destitution to the society, particularly over the last 10 years. The malady of child destitution in Nigeria has aggravated with the menace of Boko Haram, provided fodder for political violence and militancy, provided willing foot soldiers to ethnoreligious crises, and acted as catalyst to a variety of other social problems.
We can ill-afford to look on while our society totters towards destructive tendencies as a result of destitute children who grow into adulthood with nothing to lose even if the society conflagrates.”

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“As the conscience of our democracy, we must ensure without equivocation, every child destitute grows into adulthood, educated, ambitious, purposeful, and with a sense of belonging.
These destitute children are out of school, and according to available UNICEF statistics, there are over 10.5 million out-of-school children in Nigeria. Of the 10.5 million children in the country who are out of school, 60 percent are in the North.
It is no wonder then that given the ecological problem of desertification and rural-urban drift in the North, groups like the Boko Haram ceaseless army of uneducated, hopeless and rejected youths to recruit from,” he noted.
“An Act to provide for the establishment of the National Commission on Child Destitution would address the maladies associated with child destitution.
The Commission shall have powers to draw up generally acceptable guidelines on how to eradicate child destitution draw up an accepted curriculum of activities for destitute children, disburse funds and monitor proper utilization and do anything which in the opinion of the Commission is necessary to ensure efficient performance of its functions under the Act,” Wamakko explained.
The Sokoto lawmaker further implored his colleagues to, in good conscience, appreciate the gravity of the situation and support the bill.
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, accordingly passed the bill for second reading and referred said to the Committee on Establishment for further legislative works.
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