About 50.8 per cent of Nigerian children between the ages of five and 17, are involved in child labour, a new report has said.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its 2017 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), revealwd that the North-Central region had the highest number of child labour of 56.8 per cent followed by North-West accounting for 55.1 per cent, South- South has 48.7 per cent; South-East 46.6 per cent, and South-West 38 per cent, respectively.
The MICS report was conducted in conjunction with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).
Speaking on Tuesday in Abuja, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist of UNCEF Mrs. Maureen Zubie-Okolo, described the figures in the report as not only alrming but worrisome.
While frowning at the high number of children in hazardous conditions across the country, Mrs. Zubie-Okolo disclosed that the North West accounted for 41.9 per cent of children working in hard conditions, followed by South-South with 37.9 per cent; South- East 36.1 per cent; North-East 34.1 per cent and South-East 25.4 per cent.
According to Zubie-Okolo the use of children as child labour is one of the most common practices of child labour in the country.
She identified the major causes of child labour as poverty, rapid urbanisation, breakdown in extended family affiliations, rate of high school drop-out and lack of enforcement of legal instruments meant to protect children.
Zubie-Okolo, who described the 2017 MIC survey as fifth in the series, noted that it helped to espouse the country’s progress and lapses in key areas of development, adding that it will provide statistics to complement and assess the quality of data from recent national surveys such as National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) and Nigerian General Household Panel Survey (NGHPS) conducted by the National Population Commission (NPopC).