FG, UNICEF inaugurate child protection information management centre

FG, UNICEF inaugurate child protection information management centre

By Justina Auta
Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have inaugurated a Child Protection Information Management and Research Centre to collate information on child welfare in Nigeria.

Unveiling the centre on Monday in Abuja, the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, said the centre would be a repository of information on all cases pertaining to Nigerian children.

She added “the pledges of President Bola Tinubu in his Renewed Hope agenda cannot be achieved without credible data, and this is a major step toward the realisation of the agenda.

“The centre is a laudable project which UNICEF has done, to support Nigeria’s effort at protecting children.

The minister explained that cases of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), harmful traditional practices and other violations against children would be recorded at the centre “and this will assist in conducting research that can pave the way to finding durable solutions.

According to her, the centre is a major boost toward protecting children since children cannot speak for themselves.

“Now, whistleblowers can reach us, and we put up this information to help with intervention,” the minister said.

Rownak Khan, UNICEF’s Deputy Country Representative, described the establishment of the centre as “timely intervention to understand points of entry in terms of support for children.

“Without data and evidence, we won’t know what is happening in a child’s life.

“This centre will be the bedrock to all evidence, to allow us to design programmes for children all over Nigeria, mainly focusing on the most excluded children, the vulnerable.

“In UN, we talk about sustainable development and sometimes we provide support which is not very well sustained and does not leave any legacy.

“But this is one true example where we will be leaving a lot of legacy, as the research will be the background for all the work that will be done, and it will stay with the government.

Also, Ibrahim Sesay, Chief Child Protection Officer, UNICEF, explained that the centre would harvest and annex reports showing areas and locations with high incidence of child violations.

“We have gathered standard tools for data across the 36 states through the development and deployment of the child protection information management system throughout the federation.

“This will help in gathering data and enable data analysis as well as strengthen the capacity of the ministry,” he said.

It will be recalled that the ministry recently inaugurated the Nigerian Council for Social Works (NCSW) and its board to ensure compliance with operational regulations guiding the practice of social work in Nigeria.

Edited by Aisha Ahmed/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu