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Child labour problem in Nigeria worst in Southeast, Northwest

Report noted that 31,756,302 children, accounting for 50.5% of all children aged five to 17 years old in Nigeria are engaged in economic activities.

Child labour problem in Nigeria worst in Southeast, Northwest

The NBS said this in its Nigeria Child Labour and Forced Labour Survey Report for 2022, which was released in Abuja on Thursday. The Bureau said child labour referred to the work for which children are either too young or that may be physically or psychologically injurious to their health and wellbeing.

The report said 31,756,302 children, accounting for 50.5% of all children aged five to 17 years old in Nigeria were engaged in economic activities. It said 14,390,353 children accounting for 22.9% of children were involved in hazardous work.

The NBS said the North-West zone had the highest number of children in child labour at 6,407,102 and in hazardous work at 3,266,728.

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“However, in terms of the percentage of children in child labour and hazardous work, the South-East region has the highest prevalence of children involved in child labour at 49.9%.”

The report showed that in the five to 14 age group, 77.6% of children attended school, 46.5% were working and 11.2% were exclusively working.

“Children in urban areas are substantially less likely to be working only and more likely to attend school only than their rural counterparts. There are few differences between boys and girls.”

It said in the 15-17 age group, more than two-thirds of children were working and 21.9% were exclusively working.

Children living in rural areas are 12 percentage points more likely to be working and 17 percentage points less likely to attend school than children living in urban areas.”

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The report said children from households with more educated household heads were less likely to be in child labour. It showed that 43.2% of children from households where the head had reached primary or lower education were in child labour.

“Whereas only 28.4% of children from households where the head has a tertiary education are in child labour.”

The report said children from female-headed households were more likely to be in child labour than children living in male-headed households.

“About 42.5% of children from female-headed households are in child labour compared to 38.7% of children from male-headed households,” the NBS said.

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