By Stanley Onyekwere
The Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, yesterday received a comprehensive report on various issues touching on the services of residential homes otherwise known as orphanage homes, from its ministerial committee on the Administration of child welfare services in the Territory.
Presenting the report to the minister, the chairman of the committee, Mrs. Nana Tsokwa, noted that the committee which was inaugurated on 11th February, 2013, took it upon theirs to tour round the FCT to get firsthand information regarding the activities of the orphanages.
She identified lack of clarity in roles and responsibilities of the relevant stakeholders in child welfare services, therefor leading to lapses in the provision of direct services by the Social Secretariat Department, overlaps in service delivery, duplication of functions and more seriously certain direct oversight duties not been performed by the Secretariat. The committee chairman equally identified that Social Development Secretariat is hampered by inadequate human and material resources needed to carry out its mandate effectively, saying it had become critical as FCT continues to experience an almost daily influx of persons from surrounding states, with its population fast out pacing available social infrastructure.
However, in the report, it was recommended that the FCT Administration approves the schedule of duties for the Departments of Gender Development and Social Welfare Services as proposed in the report.
According to her, this will ensure efficiency in the provision of services, as well as a focused monitoring of children in the orphanages by relevant departments.
Similarly, Akinjide inaugurated the implementation committee on the elimination of the practice of infanticide in some part of the FCT.
In her remark, the minister said the committee became necessary following the incident of infanticide within some parts of the FCT.
The committee headed by Secretary, Education Secretariat, Alhaji Kabiru Usman has the mandate of examining the observations and recommendation of the earlier committee as they affect each of the identified communities and to evolve a viable action plan to address issues raised.
The committee is expected to carry out massive advocacy and sensitization campaign against handful practice via print and electronic media as well as group contacts with the local communities.