Lawmakers of the House of Representatives have called on the Nigerian government to declare child destitution and begging a national emergency.
The lawmakers urged government at all levels to make sure that children are protected and provided with access to basic education amenities as approved by the United Nations Convention.
This was decided during the plenary on Thursday, July 18, the lawmakers while considering a motion captioned: “Need to Eradicate Child Destitution and Remove Beggars from Nigerian Streets through Provision Of Standardized Education System and Improved Livelihood.”
Addressing the motion sponsored by Mansur Soro, Ibrahim Umar, Saidu Abdullahi and Shehu Beji, the lawmakers said that the menace of child destitution in most parts of Nigeria has become a matter of grave concern for the continued well-being of Nigeria.
The lawmakers also said that the menace is also a source of increasing national embarrassment for the country in the global sphere.
The lawmakers also urged the Federal Ministry of Education to integrate the Almajiri Education System into the Universal Basic Education Programme.
They also called on the Office of the Vice-President to, in collaboration with States’ relevant institutions, conduct a census of Almajiri schools and headcount of the destitute children with the view to enrolling them in the on-going National Home-grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP).
Stating that the large number of children captured in the destitution net most of whom roam the streets begging for alms or hawking at traffic spots, the lawmakers said such menace comes at a huge cost to the nation in terms of loss of critical human capital and erosion of family values.