The Kano State Governor, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, has pledged to improve the wellbeing of children in the state through sustainable programmes and projects.
Ganduje gave the assurance while celebrating 2021 Children’s Day at the Government House in Kano, on Thursday.
The Children’s day ceremony was organised by the governor’s wife, Prof Hafsat Ganduje, in collaboration with the state’s Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
The 2021 Children’s Day was celebrated under the theme: ‘The effect of COVID-19 pandemic on the total wellbeing of the Nigerian child: the way forward.’
It was reported that the activities marking the ceremony at the Kano Government House included, drama, cultural dances and presentation of gifts, among others.
“It is our responsibility to make you happy and to sustain happiness through sustainable child development. We will continue to care for our children, especially in education, health and discipline,” the governor said.
Ganduje called on parents to continue taking care of their wards and urged stakeholders to put heads together to ensure that those who lost their parents as a result of COVID-19 were fully cared for.
He commended the first lady of the state and Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dr Zahra’u Muhammad-Umar, for organising the ceremony.
On her part, Dr Zahra’u Muhammad-Umar, said that the pandemic had affected children in almost all facets of life, including their education and social wellbeing.
“The impact of the pandemic on children is immediate and if not addressed on time could lead to a problem that will be forever,” she said.
Muhammad-Umar commended the governor for supporting children and other vulnerable persons in the state and for the achievements recorded so far on child development, such as free and compulsory basic education.
Other achievements, according to her, included primary school feeding and signing into law of the Child Protection Act, among others.
The Commissioner called on the children to stand firm and face their education with keen interest, so that the time and resources wasted as a result of the pandemic could be regained through their zeal and commitment to greater knowledge.
Earlier, the first lady, Prof. Ganduje, described children as the greatest asset of the nation and the starting point of human life.
“Children ought to be cherished and cared for. We must make sure we safeguard their well-being, in terms of health, education and all their other needs in life,” the first lady said.
She noted that the pandemic had affected the wellbeing of children nationwide, most especially their health and education; being the foundation for cultural preservation, scientific transformation and technological advancement.
The first lady said the state government had empowered women as custodians of children, through various programmes implemented across the 44 Local Government Areas, to cushion the effect of the pandemic.
She appealed to governments at all levels, Civil Society Organisations, the private sector and development partners to redouble their efforts at providing interventions that will enrich the survival, protection and development of the children.
Meanwhile, the State Commissioner for Education, Malam Muhammad Sanusi Kiru, has presented 40 local wheelchairs to some physically challenged children across the 44 LGAs.
He said that the wheelchairs were donated by Haske Foundation, to alleviate the sufferings of the children.