By Tobias Lengnan Dapam

Save the Children International (SCI) Nigeria, has launched a report on budgeting to end Early Child Marriage in Nigeria.

Launching the report on Friday in Abuja, the Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Ohaneye, said there is need for collaborative efforts to address the challenges faced by the girl-child in the country.

She said there is need for young girls to learn skills so as not to depend on others.

“There is need for young girls to be empowered with various skills skills that could help them later in life.

“On our part, we will continue to support women and girls. We will champion various advocacies to put an end to these challenges.
We are working closely with other stakeholders to ensure success in that area.”

She said this is time for action and less talk. “I urge teachers to be close to their students so as to know their challenges.”

Also speaking, Interim Country Director, Save the Children International – Faton Krasniqi, who was represented by Director of Advocacy, Campaigns, Communication and Media, Amanuel Mamo, said budgeting on any child rights agenda is an important step towards delivering on what the government has pledged to do to protect, respect and fulfil child rights.

“Early, child and forced marriage robs the potential of a girl – the potential to be empowered, to have a say, to realize and release their full potentials and become somebody. Child marriage erodes and dries the future of the girls, their dreams and hope in life. One of the girls who unfortunately end up in early, child and forced marriage could possibly be someone who invents and have a solution for some of the major challenges that the world is facing today. So, the planet earth needs these girls in order to be a better place for everyone to live on.

“There are some bold measures that the Federal and State governments have taken to advance child rights in Nigeria. The National Strategy to End Child Marriage (2016-21) is among the major tools that the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs has been championing. The creation of National Technical Working Group on Ending Child Marriage also brought coalition of stakeholders from the government, CSOs and INGOs with an intention to drive the implementation the strategy. The existing laws, strategies and plans can only be fulfilled if it is budget for.
“Therefore, the finding of this research underscores the importance of allocating adequate financial resources to tackle the underlying causes of child marriage. The report provides a review and analysis of how the government has been budgeting towards the efforts of ending child marriage in Nigeria. The study identifies bottlenecks and provides recommendations on what should be addressed to accelerate the fight against early, child and forced marriage.

“We will continue to support the efforts of the government and encourage every institution to invest in the rights of the girl especially in Nigeria.
“Therefore, Save the Children International calls for an increased investment in girls’ safe and quality learning; in girls’ access to comprehensive healthcare services, including sexual and reproductive health education and services; and increased support initiatives that address menstrual health management and promote overall well-being of the girl child.
“Save the Children also calls towards a joint and collaborative challenge against harmful practices such as child marriage, female genital mutilation, and gender-based violence; and promoting Safe and Inclusive Spaces where girls can express themselves, share their experiences, and support one another and participate actively in decision making processes that affects them and their communities.
“If we scale up, replicate, the best practices and start taking informed, deliberate, intentional, coordinated and consistent measures – there shall be a huge difference/progress very soon in the lives and well-being of Nigerian girls and children in general. Save the Children remains in the side of any initiative that helps to address issues that the girls are facing today.

On her part, Overseeing Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs, Mr Idris Mohammed, said child marriage is a violation of human rights and a
and a serious
obstacle to the development and well-being of the future

She added that the report being presented today is a culmination of tireless effort, research and collaboration among dedicated individuals and
organizations who have come together with a shared goal to end
child marriage and ensure a brighter future of our children.

“This report is not just a document, it is a testament to our
collective commitment to the rights and dignity of our children. It sheds light on the extend of this issue, its causes and the impact it
has on young lives. It also provides a road map for the actions we
must take to bring an end to child marriage.”

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