Published On: Wed, May 22nd, 2019

Stakeholders dialogue on proliferation, abuse of orphanages in Abuja

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By Stanley Onyekwere

In the wake of the recent clampdown on orphanages in Abuja, stakeholders yesterday dialogued on efficient scrutinizing and streamlining of activities of these homes, so as to curb proliferation and abuse of the system.
Recall that recent development concerning the management of orphanages and welfare and wellbeing of children housed in them has brought their activities under intense scrutiny.
Speaking at the Stakeholders’ conference held in Abuja, the FCT Permanent Secretary, Sir Christian Ohaa said the Government will no longer condone illegal orphanage home in the nation’s capital.
Ohaa noted that it was imperative that stakeholders and general public are educated and properly guided as to the extant rules regulating the establishment and management of orphanages, in order to protect all children within the nation’s from any harm that may expose them to physical emotional and mental abuse.
The Permanent Secretary who was represented at the occasion by, the Director Human Resources , Lazarus Gaza said tackling the the menace requires a multi faceted approach that will require a lot of collaboration between stakeholders inclusive of government regulators child right activists, non govermental organisations.
“It is important to state that matters concerning Childers are quite diverse and in some cases capital intensive.
“We strongly believe that all children should have equitable access to and benefit from comprehensive social protection servicesare safe and protected from abuse, violence exploitation and neglect.
“They are also unequivocally have access to quality basic education adequate standard of living, remain healthy and well nourished have legal identity and the right to participate fully in all issues that concerns them,” he stressed.
Also speaking, the President Coalition of Orphanages And Children’s Home In Nigeria (COCHIN), Sen. Eze Ajoku urged goverments to do proper monitoring, in order to fish out all illegal or orphanages that is giving the association bad names.
He also urged government to motivate other rich people to start orphanage homes because orphanage is a calling and must be done by those who have the heart to give and help the vulnerable.
Earlier in her opening remarks, the Acting Secretary , Social Development Secretariat (SDS), Hajia Safiya Umar revealed that over 20 orphanages homes in Abuja are operating without proper registration.
She however regretted that most orphanage homes have been personalised, they did not put into consideration the Child Right Acts about establishment of orphanage homes.
She added that most homes are over populated as against 5 children to a room, to one nanny, the home must be close to a school and health facilities.
In his presentation at the occasion titled ‘Orphanage Safety in Nigeria: The Agenda for the FCTA to set’, Prof. Andrew Zamani, decried the state of most orphanages in Abuja.
He therefore called on the FCTA to increase legal framework for establishment of orphanages, increase surprise monitoring and intelligence gathering.

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