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General News of Thursday, 22 July 2021


FG to protect nine million vulnerable children with ARC project

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The Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments, Mrs Maryam Uwais, has revealed that over nine million Nigerian children exposed to violence, abuse, neglect, exploitation and exclusion would be protected by the newly launched At-Risk Children Project (ARC-P) by her office.

Mrs Uwais made this known in Lagos, at the unveiling of the programme, which she described as a strategic national response to address the problem of vulnerable children.

She explained that the ARC-P’s vision was to comprehensively address cross-cutting concerns of at-risk children and provide them with a life of dignity.

“In the family and communities, children should be fully protected so they can survive, grow, learn and develop to their fullest potential,” she said.

She added that the project’s mission was to facilitate programmemes that will ensure the integration of at-risk children and young adults by creating opportunities for skills and empowerment to reduce their vulnerabilities.

She said ARC-P would nurture children with dignity and respect, raise equal citizens and bridge the poverty gap.

“A key objective of the programme will provide protection and hope to youth and children who are vulnerable, for a productive life through learning, combined with improved health outcomes, values and skills.

“It will also provide meaningful, impactful and pragmatic quality programmes that empower the children to become productive to themselves, their families, communities and society.”

She further disclosed that the programme would leverage on successfully tried and tested intensive learning initiatives, to expand, deepen and broaden the scope of the programme.

She added that the programme would be institutionalised to continue beyond the President Muhammadu Buhari administration and called for support from Corporate Nigeria to implement interventions including basic literacy and numeracy, health and nutrition, entrepreneurial, financial literacy and vocational skills and digital skills.

Responding, some of the companies, including Lafarge Africa Plc, ANAP Holdings, Airtel Nigeria, International Finance Corporation, Flour Mills of Nigeria, Wema Bank, Aliko Dangote Foundation, FBN Quest Trustees, StanbicIBTC, InterSwitch, Murtala Muhammed Foundation and Accelerex Network, all commended the initiative.

They noted that it was an innovation that would help resolve the out-of-school children problem and insecurity.

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