Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State on Friday said the state government had worked toward reducing incidences of child trafficking and other harmful practices against children in the state.
Ugwuanyi said this in his speech to mark the 2016 Children’s Day celebration held at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu.
The governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Mrs Cecelia Ezeilo, said that the state government desired to build structures that would enhance the development of children.
He said that the Child Rights Act, which was before the state’s House of Assembly, when passed into law, would provide important legal support for the rights of children.
He added that “however, in spite of the efforts, we believe that the training and proper development of our children should be a collective responsibility of all adults and relevant institutions.
“I wish to call on teachers, parents and religious organisations to intensify efforts at guaranteeing the safety of our children from abuses.
“We rather need to expose them to conditions that engender excellent intellectual, social and moral development.”
Ugwuanyi said that his administration desired to see that the children were properly equipped to consolidate and improve upon the changes being driven in the state.
He added that the state government also desired to ensure the renovation of all primary and secondary schools in the state, as well as provide essential equipment in the schools.
“The government has also taken steps to strengthen the relevant boards and agencies in the management of primary and secondary education to ensure quality education.
“We have also successfully sustained the Maternal and Child Health Care Programme which has continued to earn support from relevant local and international organisations.”
In her address of welcome, Mrs Peace Nnaji, the Commissioner for Gender Affairs and Social Development, called for the eradication of all treatments that militated against the welfare of children.
Nnaji said that child marriage, sexual abuse, neglect and exploitation destroyed the development of the child.
The theme of the celebration is “End Violence against Children, End Child Marriage in Africa.”
The event featured lectures and cultural displays by school children.