Niger Assembly shuts down child rights agency

From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna.

The Niger House of Assembly has described as illegal, the operation of the state Child Rights Protection Agency, added that the agency has no legal backing to operate as an agency in the state.
The House stated this when its Committee on Women Affairs led by the chairperson and member Representing Gurara Constituency, Hajiya Binta Mamman, on oversight function visited the agency in Minna yesterday.
The House therefore directed the agency to henceforth stop all it activity until there is proper legal backing, and ordered that the agency remove its sigh board with immediate effect.
She noted that the agency which was established in 2016 by the present administration for the protection of child did not have the necessary legal backing as the assembly was not aware of it existence.
Consequently, Section 23, Sub-Section 1, of the 1999 constitution only recognised the establishment of a committee to be known as the State Child Rights Implementation Committee under the state Ministry for Women Affairs with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry to chair the committee.
The chairperson stated that the child right implementation committee was established to operate under the state Ministry of Women Affairs as a committee and not as an agency and wondered why it has been turned to an agency without seeking proper legal backing from the state House of Assembly.
Hon. Mamman, however, warned that the sign boards of the agency be remove until there was proper legal backing for it to operate as an agency and threatened that if the section was not amended, the agency would not be capture in the 2018 budget.
She advised the agency to write to the House for the amendment of section 23 to enable it’s operate as an agency, insisting that until the relevant section is amended, the activities of the agency would be regarded as illegal.
Responding, the Director General of the Agency, Mrs Maryam Kolo, agreed with the House submission and gave the assurance that the agency will immediately began the process for the amendment of the relevant law to enable the agency operate in line with the laws of the state.

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