Save the Children and UNICEF have commended the federal government’s decision to create a dedicated budget line for child protection services in the country’s National Chart of Accounts.
The Country Director, Deirdre Keogh, Save the Children in a press statement issued in Abuja said, this comes in line with the National Campaign to End Violence Against Children, launched by President Buhari in 2016.
He said it is also in line with our Stop the War on Children Campaign as poor funding for children decreases the survival and protection rate for children in conflict.
He said Adeq financing of child protection services in federal and state government budgets is critical to ending violence against children by 2030.
According to him, public expenditure on children especially on child protection services has remained low in Nigeria to date.
“According to the Financial Benchmark on Child Protection Study, released by the Nigerian Government and UNICEF in March 2019, only 0.16% of government expenditure is spent on child protection services.
“Furthermore than ten Nigerian ministries, departments, and agencies have a child protection mandate and are trying to provide adequate funding for their activities in annual budget submissions,” he said.
Also, the Country Representative of UNICEF Nigeria, Peter Hawkins said “With multi-sectoral investments, a dedicated budget line for child protection in federal and state Chart of Accounts will allow for a more coordinated, transparent and effective use of public finances.
“ When fully implemented and correctly used, this would enhance the capacity to further strengthen systems to protect children wherever they are.”
Recently on January 28, 2020, the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning conveyed a high-level meeting on the effective budgeting for child protection in Nigeria and its inclusion into the National Chart of Accounts. Other strategic stakeholders at the meeting include Save the Children and UNICEF.
The decisive meeting provided the opportunity for the stakeholders to agree on next steps in adding child protection in the Chart of Accounts.