Olawale Ibrahim, Lokoja
As part of efforts to eliminate child labour in the Country, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. AbdulKadir Muazu has warned women in mining sector not take their children to mining site to guarantee their safety.
Muazu who gave this warning while speaking at the empowerment of 20 women during a programme titled Eliminating Child labour through women empowerment in Emiworo Community in Ajaokuta ,Local government area of Kogi State State on Wednesday.
He explained that the most vulnerable group of people are child workers, stressing that we all need to direct attention on them for the future of our dear country .
The Permanent Secretary who was represented by the Chief Miner in Charge of Kogi State, Engineer Dejomaoh Florence stated that it is no more acceptable that our children should be found working in hazardous conditions that will likely affect their health neither now nor in the nearest future even lead to their death.
“Nigeria as a country had ratified the ILO Convention 182 that talks about worse form of Child Labour ,some of these works are hazardous in nature and mining happened to be therefore eliminating child labour in our society must involve every one of us from government to employers and parents
However, as Nigerians, we know that it is encouraged in our societies for children to carry out little tasks around the house and even participate in works that are appropriate for to their level of development as a way of training them,” the Permanent Secretary said.
Muazu pointed out that the difficulties started coming in ,noting that the situation change when we found parents involving their children in economic activities that will bring money to augument family resources, adding that in most situations has resulted in children selling out of school or not or not starting at all.
The facilitator and the Desk Officer, Gender and Children, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Hajia Hassana Shaba told the women in Mining to be safety conscious , saying that under no circumstance should they take their children to Mining site .
She explained that objective of the empowerment is discourage child labour, adding the federal has also decided to encourage women in the Mining business by providing working tools for them and safe their time and lives too .
The Chairperson of Kogi Women in Mining ,Mrs Janet Haiaba commended the Federal government for the empowerment of 20 members ,saying that they ventured into the business in 2015 and faced with many challenges.
Mrs Haiaba noted that following the sad event that occurred when about 11 people lost their lives in 2015, she decided to call all others to under one umbrella and formed this association .
“We are happy today that the Federal Government through the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has recognised us and they are encouraging us in our business, she said