Following reports of the prevalence of child labour practices in both the cocoa farming and artisanal gold mining sectors in Nigeria, the Director General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr. Garba Abari has directed Community Orientation and Mobilization Officers (COMOs) of the Agency in Ondo, Osun and Niger States to urgently deploy sensitization programmes to create awareness about the dangers of child labour in the two sectors.
Represented by the Ondo State Director, Adelayo Adefolalu, Abari spoke at a workshop organised by the NOA and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to prepare COMOs for the campaign for the elimination of child labour in the two sectors.
According to him, the capacity of the Agency to prosecute The National Social and Behavioural Change Communication (NSBCC) Strategy for elimination of child labour will be enhanced if the ILO considers extending the partnership under the second phase of the project expected to take off in the third quarter of the year.
The ACCEL Africa Project of the ILO, sponsored by the Dutch government, assigns the lead role to NOA in the implementation of the National Social and Behavioural Change Communication strategy of the campaign to eliminate child labour in Nigeria.
Those attending the training include the War Against Indiscipline (WAI) brigade volunteers, who operate at the community level and are expected to lead the advocacy and persuasive enforcement of the Child Right Act, Labour Act and other legal frameworks which prohibit the engagement of minors in hazardous tasks and tasks that prevent them from gaining basic education.
Dr. Agatha Kolawole who is the National Coordinator of the ACCEL Africa project, said the ILO recognises the importance of the NOA structure in disseminating information to the grassroots and hoped that the information officers commit itself to the task. For her, despite global efforts, incidence of child labour is growing in Nigeria and requires the concerted effort of all, including community leaders, government at all levels and the private sector to remedy the situation.
The representative of the Ministry of Labour, Falohun Adegoke outlined the focal communities where the ACCEL Africa projects is currently in implementation. They include, Ibala community in Obokun Local Government Area of Osun. Others are: Bamikemo, Fagbo 1 and Fagbo 2, Wasimi, Oke-agunla, Aponmu and Ipoba 2 in Ondo State.
Assistant Director, Press