The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Wednesday called on parents, organisations and government agencies to increase investment in children to ensure their uninterrupted development for a meaningful future.
Mr Adam Zakari, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Kaduna, made the appeal at the official opening of Access Bank, UNICEF and Fifth Chucker 2018 Polo Charity Shield Tournament.
Represented by Mr Rabiu Musa, Media and External Relation Officer, UNICEF Kaduna, he noted that children are future leaders and it was imperative to prepare them to tackle the challenges of the future.
According to him, supporting children is what UNICEF represent and will continue to provide them with necessary support that would enable them achieve their dreams and become useful to the society.
“Our goal includes supporting the developing protective laws and policies for children, promoting services, ensuring adequate budgetary allocations and release of funds and raising awareness to promote social change,” he said.
Zakari explained that UNICEF’s was collaborating with Access Bank and Fifth Chucker in supporting some primary schools in Kaduna state with facilities to make teaching and learning easy for children.
He charged school children at the event to remain focus on what they want to become in future, stressing that they will not make it far in life without studying hard.
“There are over 10 million children out of school today in Nigeria for different reasons, you that are in school should count yourselves lucky and aim to finish your school successfully.
“As children, the future of this country is in your hands. We are doing all we can to help you succeed, but you also need to focus on your studies and remain resolute on becoming a solution to Nigeria’s challenges,’’ he said.
The representative of Access Bank, Lagos, Oge Kasie-Nwachukwu, reiterated the bank’s continued support for children, describing investing in the future of children as a task for all.
On her part, the wife of the Kaduna State Governor, Mrs Aisha el-Rufa’i, called on parents and caregivers to ensure that every school age child goes to school.
She also called on them to ensure that all children under five years receive full immunisation as a right to their survival, adding that the state government will not relent in its fight against child malnutrition.
“The government would continue to protect children’s rights and create an atmosphere for their participation on matters affecting them.
“But as children, you must also strive and work hard towards making sure your dreams comes true,’’ she said.
She commended UNICEF and the organisers of the event for their commitment to child development while pledging the state government’s cooperation with all relevant bodies to champion the cause of children.