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Edo Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has warned of sanctions against those who use children as labourers in the state. Obaseki warned employers of labour that his administration will not accept any form of exploitation of children in the state.

The governor handed down the warning on the occasion of the annual World Day Against Child Labour.

Although he acknowledged the influx of companies into the state, the governor maintained that his administration will not be home to obnoxious labour practices, such as the recruitment of children for labour.

“We are committed to equipping our children with quality education for a prosperous future. We have robust laws and policies that guarantee the rights of children in the state and will activate these laws and policies in the event that children are being exploited or abused anywhere in the state,” he said.

The governor urged Edo people and residents to report any case of exploitation of children to the law enforcement agencies for prosecution and added that the state government has sensitised the enforcement agencies to treat such cases with dispatch.

He further warned that forced labour and human trafficking have no place in the emerging Edo State.

He advised parents, guardians and caregivers to be alive to the responsibilities of educating their children.

The International Labour Organisation, in 2002, launched the day to focus attention on the global extent of child labour and the action and efforts needed to eliminate it.

Each year, in June, the World Day brings together governments, employers and workers organisations, civil society, as well as millions of people from around the world to highlight the plight of child labourers and what can be done to help them.

Meanwhile, Commissioner for Wealth Creation, Cooperatives and Employment, Emmanuel Usoh, has said the Innovation Hub, which will be commissioned by Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, was initiated by Obaseki to up-skill youths, stimulate tech-focused small businesses and curb human trafficking and illegal migration.

Usoh, who disclosed this in Benin, the state capital, yesterday, said the innovation hub will stimulate the thriving tech ecosystem, as the state is collaborating with relevant agencies and organisations to establish standard and state-of-the-art hubs to enhance innovation and bridge the digital divide in the state.

He announced that all is set for the launch of the hub.

The commissioner added that the collaboration between the federal and Edo governments was instrumental in the setting up the hub.

“The hub will offer youths who are interested in travelling abroad for jobs and opportunities to acquire up-to-date skills in technology. The training programme will be as intense as obtainable in similar hubs across the world, partnering global companies in setting up the facility. International certifications will be obtained at the hub.”

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