“Investing in Children will guarantee Peace, Prosperity of Nigerian Communities” – VP Osinbajo

“Investing in Children will guarantee Peace, Prosperity of Nigerian Communities” – VP Osinbajo

Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof.

Yemi Osinbajo says the only way to guarantee the long-term peace and prosperity of the country’s communities is to invest in children by providing opportunities for them to thrive and be productive within their chosen paths.

He stated this on Thursday at the At Risk Children-Programme (ARC-P) National Summit 2022, held at the State House Conference Centre Abuja.


Osinbajo said that providing vulnerable and poor children with opportunities to acquire skills and be able to take care of their basic needs would give them hope for a better future.

The vice president said that there was urgent need to provide “the necessary lifelines, confidence and support to vulnerable children to enable them to take ownership of their lives in dignity,” pointing out that “we know already that we have an unacceptably high number of out-school children of school age.

He said that the ARC-P, which is domiciled in the Office of the Vice President, is one of the independent initiatives of the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy Committee.

Poverty EradicationThe vice president explained that President Muhammadu Buhari set up the committee on the advice of Presidential Economic Advisory Council to enhance attainment of the objective of lifting 100million people out of poverty in 10 years.

“It is an important component of the variety of government interventions that are designed to complement and support existing initiatives of our administration in dealing with the problems of vulnerable children and young people.

“The programme will provide a safe space for the mentoring and training of these children with a specific emphasis on basic literacy and numeracy skills; health and nutrition; entrepreneurial skills; digital skills, sports and other related skills.

“At the heart of the ARC-P is idea that every Nigerian child counts.

  A nation will ultimately be measured by how it treats its most vulnerable citizens.

“We recognize that we cannot make significant programme while a significant population of our children, those to whom the future belongs are left on the margins of society are deprived of the opportunity to discover and fulfil their potential.

“So, ARC-P is aimed at giving a new lease of life to millions of children, who through no fault of theirs have found themselves without hope or support.

While calling on the support of all stakeholders, Osinbajo noted that “in times of national emergency, the divisions between state, civil society and the private sector is unhelpful.

 “All sectors must make common calls because it is the right thing to do.

  In no effort is the old adage truer that it takes a village to train a child than with vulnerable children.

“The fate of our most vulnerable children is a cause that should bring all of us in government, in civil society and private sector together in a massive collaborative effort.

“These efforts must be aligned to work in tandem because of the need to address in a manner that engages with other deprivations around health and empowerment,” he added.

Effect of insurgencyGovernor Mohammed Yahaya shared the experience of Gombe State in the issue of poor and vulnerable children and said although the state has not been one of the states directly affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in Northeast Nigeria, the influx of displaced persons put pressure on its health and education facilities.

He said Gombe State keyed into the programme to address the problem of poor and vulnerable children.

“For us in Gombe State, and I believe, in the North-Eastern sub-region, the ARC-P couldn’t have come at a better time considering the destruction to lives and livelihoods caused by the Boko Haram insurgents.

“As you are all aware, children and young adults, especially, girls, are disproportionately affected by natural and man-made disasters such as the Boko Haram insurgency that  we have witnessed in the past decade.

“As in many conflict situations, thousands of children in the six states of the North-East sub-region, have become victims of forced displacement, kidnapping, maiming, child soldier recruitment, sexual molestation, stigmatisation, hunger, forced labour, deplorable heath conditions and many more challenges.

Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment, Mrs.

Mariam Uwais said that the ARC-P was aimed at improving the overall well being of young, marginalized Nigerians under the age of 24, especially Almajiri, out-of-school children, girls at work, adolescent girls in marriage, among other vulnerable children.

Nneka Ukachukwu
“Investing in Children will guarantee Peace, Prosperity of Nigerian Communities” – VP Osinbajo

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