ABUJA – (Budget & National Planning Ministry Report) – The report of the UNICEF / Nigerian Government on the true cost of violence against children in the country has informed that the economic impact of the violence against children in Nigeria is estimated to cost about USD$6.1 which is equivalent to 1.07% of Nigeria’s GDP.
The release for the Publicity Department of the Ministry recently states that the high economic cost of violence against children in Nigeria was revealed in an unprecedented report launched jointly by UNICEF and the Federal Government under the leadership of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning and the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
According to the report, the financial loss accruing from the cumulative loss of earnings is due to the loss of productivity which stems from the suffering associated with different degrees of violence over time.
The Premanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs & Social Development, Ifeoma Anagbogu, while commenting on the situation noted that the cost of inaction is high when it comes to violence against children. Adding, violence affects children’s health, education and productivity.
She pointed out that it is clear that the society needs to eliminate any form of violence against children – both from moral and economic perspectives.
In his reflection on the report, the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Budget & National Planning, Olajide Odewale espoused that about half of the Nigerian children surveyed, experienced physical violence by parents, adult relatives, direct or indirect caregivers or community members, before they reached 18. He adjudged that the findings of the study point to the strong need for increased funding of interventions by the Government to reduce violence against children in Nigeria.
Olajide Odewale further noted that the study may have actually underestimated the economic burden of violence against children as several serious consequences of such violence were not included, due to a current lack of data.
“The evidence presented in the report indicates an urgent need to provide child protection services in Nigeria and prioritize the elimination of violence against children, which can ensure that the country’s human capital has the mental, physical and emotional
stability needed to boost its social and economic development,” he observed.
Also remarking on the occasion, the UNICEF Country Representative in Nigeria, Mohammed Malick Fall stressed that this year marks the 30th Anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, providing the opportunity to join collective efforts towards protecting children from violence, abuse and neglect which requires re -commitment to increased investment in child protection services.
The research on violence against children which was led by the Government of Nigeria in collaboration with UNICEF was funded by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through USAID, the EU and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.