A survey carried out by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics NBS has indicated that 50.8 per cent of Nigerian children engage in child labour.
According to the 2017 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), these jobs include being street vendors, beggars, car washers or watchers and shoe shiners.
Analyzing the report of the survey, a Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist with UNICEF Mrs. Maureen Zubie-Okolo said northern Nigeria accounted for the highest burden of child labour of 56.8 per cent followed by North-West accounting for 55.1 per cent. South- South has 48.7 per cent; South-East 46.6 per cent, and South-West 38 per cent, respectively.
“The high level of diverse and tedious jobs that children execute in dangerous circumstances is particularly worrying.
“These jobs include being street vendors, beggars, car washers or watchers and shoe shiners. Others work as apprentice mechanics, hairdressers and bus conductors, while a large number work as domestic servants and farm hands.
“Traditionally, children have worked with their families, but today children are forced to work for their own and their family’s survival.
“The money earned by child family members has become a significant part of poor families’ income.
“These children who work suffer from fatigue, irregular attendance at school, lack of comprehension and motivation, improper socialisation, exposure to risk of sexual abuse, high likelihood of being involved in crime.
“These children who are mostly young girls, should be in school but instead, they are in the market hawking food items because their families need the extra income,” she said.
She regretted that traditionally, children have worked with their families, but today children are forced to work for their own and their family’s survival.
Photo Credit: guardian.ng
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