Nigeria loses N1.42tn annually to violence against children, says UNICEF

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United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has declared that Nigeria is incurring an economic value loss of about N1.42 trillion annually as a result of violence against children (VAC).

This information which is result of a study carried out in 2017 with data obtained in 2014 by UNICEF, further stated that on the average, the deaths and disability resulting from violence against children costs the country the above figure and represents 1.6 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product.

Public Finance for Child Protection UNICEF Consultant, Rita Fele, who said this yesterday in Calabar during a presentation at the launch of the Economic Burden of VAC in Nigeria and the Financial Benchmark for Child Protection Reports, organized in collaboration with the Cross River State Ministry of Women Affairs, and funded by the Centre for Disease Control/United States Agency for International Development (CDC/USAID) said the Nigeria Consolidated National Benchmark was estimated at 0.31%, meaning that for every N100 spent per person in Nigeria, 31 Kobo was spent per child on child protection services.

Based on the current levels of consolidated child protection expenditure in Nigeria, Fele said the reallocation of just 0.1 per cent of Nigeria’s budget towards children protection would increase total consolidated expenditure by 63 percent, saying VAC is a key social and economic concern for the future of Nigeria. She recommended the inclusion of evidence based study results to advocate for more coordinated efforts on strengthening child protection systems across all relevant MDAs.

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Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Women Affairs, James Odok, said they want to create awareness on the need to increase allocation and expenditures for child protection services and to also disseminate information on the need to spend more on child protection services and to provide information on analysis on the level of public expenditure and cost of inaction for child protection.

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