Save the Children Nigeria, an International NGO has disclosed that between 96 and 100 per cent of Nigerian girls are forced into marriage before their 18th birthday, which could put the future of Nigeria in jeopardy.
The Head of Advocacy and Campaign for the NGO, Dr. David Olayemi, disclosed this Thursday in Abuja at the 2016 Global Day of Action of the Save the Children global event.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja, Olayemi said, ‘’We want every child to be in school particularly the girl because we have realised that if we do not take care of our girls then the future of our nation is in real jeopardy.’’
‘’We need our girls to be well educated, in the Northern part of the country we need female health workers and we cannot have this unless our girls go to school and finish their secondary education and tertiary education.’’
Stressing, Adeyemi further said, ‘’We want to prioritise this and work at it so that in the next two years we begin to have a lot of midwives, nurses, doctors who are women in the country. That will ensure that we have women in labour and have healthier children.’’
Speaking on the ambition of the NGO, he explained that the global dream is for children of the world are where every child is able to reach his or her potential through an enabling environment.
Emphasising the 2016 Global Day of Action as applied to the Nigerian situation, Olayemi said, ‘’ what we want for Nigerian children is to be given an enabling environment to be able to develop and to survive and be protected.
“We want a situation where every child can access whatever type of help he or she needs within 30 minutes of need. It means that every child should have quality health service within two kilometres wherever he or she lives anywhere in Nigeria.’’
The acting Country Director of Save the Children Nigeria, Dr. Kwane Boate during his welcome address said that the Global Day of Action is an important milestone in Save the Children International as a day in at least 90 countries come together to demonstrate their ambition to ensure that all children of the world are able to reach their maximum potentials by 2030 by not only surviving but also learning and being protected.
Boate said, “our slogan over the next three years is ‘Every Last Child’ means that every last child in our world with the hope of surviving, developing and being protected.’’
“We want to reach every last child at family level, community level, ward level, in e very Local Government Area, every state and indeed anywhere in Nigeria. This is our ambition.”
According to the Deputy Country Director who was representing the Country Direct at the occasion, Save the Children is the largest independent NGO working in 120 countries to protect the lives of children so they can achieve their potentials.
The organisation said that they also focus on children in areas of health and nutrition, education, hunger and livelihoods, child rights governance and child protection.
The organisation which said that it has reached over 24 million children added that they have programmes in Borno and Gombe States like providing food basket to families and linking up children who have been separated from their families.

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