The National Orientation Agency (NOA) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have formalised their collaboration in the fight to end child labour in Nigeria.
The contract was signed in Abuja by Vanessa Lerato Phala, Country Director of the ILO in Nigeria, and Garba Abari, Director General of the NOA.
Under the umbrella of the Dutch government-funded project Accelerating Action for the Elimination of Child Labor in Supply Chains in Africa (ACCEL Africa), the partnership includes the implementation of the National Social Behaviour and Communication Change strategy.
The Nigerian Accel Africa project aims to end child labour in the country’s artisanal gold mining and cocoa farming industries.
When signing the contract, the NOA’s Director-General vowed that the organisation would launch a grassroots campaign to educate stakeholders and change behaviour in the project’s focus communities.
According to him, the project supports the Federal Government’s overarching objective of ensuring that all children have access to education during the first twelve years of their lives.
Specifically through the implementation of the NSBCCS, he claims that the Agency will use its grassroots structure, which includes a presence in 36 states and the 774 local council areas of Nigeria, to inform citizens about the risks of child labour generally and its effects on communities, the economy, and the child.
The agreement states that the ILO will assist the NOA’s Community Orientation and Mobilization Officers (COMOs) and other pertinent officers in developing institutional capacity to implement community awareness-raising programmes.
While NOA will, as part of their culture and orientation process, implement the National Behavioural and Communication Strategy in these local communities;
As part of the Agency’s general public education programme, NOA will also incorporate programmes to raise public awareness of child labour;
The Agency will put into effect specific programmes created in collaboration with Accel Africa and the NOA that will reduce the problem of child labour in Nigeria.
The Durban Call to Action, which aims to accelerate multi-stakeholder efforts to prevent and eliminate child labour, especially the worst forms of child labour, end child labour in the agriculture sector, realise the right to education for every child, and achieve universal access to social protection, is aligned with the Accel Africa project in Nigeria, which focuses on the three states of Ondo, Osun, and Niger.