The long awaited domestication of the Child Rights Act, otherwise called Child Protection Bill, pending in Kaduna State House of Assembly, might receive legislative attention when the Assembly resumes from its recess, an official of the Assembly has said.
The bill, if passed into law will, among other things, protect children in the state, especially the voiceless and vulnerable, against child trafficking, abuse, labor and other social vices in the society.
It is recalled that in his effort to ensure the law is domesticated in the state, Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, in 2016 sent a draft bill of the Act to the state Assembly for passage, the bill has since passed first and second readings and public hearing on the bill has been conducted by the Assembly.
Unfortunately, nothing is being said about the bill. This has led to several advocacy push to the legislators by different Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), media and professional organizations such as League of Professional Online Journalists (LEPOJ), calling on the Assembly to fast-track the enactment of the law.
However, when some members of LEPOJ met with the Kaduna State Assembly, House Committee chairman on Information, Hon. Nuhu Shafalafiya, at the weekend, he raised the hope that the bill will get first-hand attention once the House resumes in October.
He disclosed that the delays in passing the bill to law was not intentional, and that it was as a result of some conflicting issues that needed to be thoroughly dealt with before allowing it to become law.
According to Hon. Shafalafiya, “This bill is dear to the heart of the governor and also the heart of the members of the Assembly; so, we don’t want to make mistakes. There are some many conflicting issues there.
“You have to consider our norms, our religion, our tradition and our culture and you don’t do a law that people will not obey. So, what we are doing is a thorough job so that when we come out with the bill, it will be presentable.”
The Lawmaker added that the bill is currently before the committee, who are already working on it, saying, “just like other bills that are with the committees – like the SIECOM Bill, Local Government Reforms Bill, the School Management Bill – they are all with the committees.”