Pauline Tallen, minister of women affairs, says free education till senior secondary school level should be implemented to discourage early child marriage in Nigeria.
Olujimi Oyetomi, spokesperson to the minister, in a statement, said Tallen said this on Wednesday while speaking with a team from the African Union (AU) on strategies adopted to address early child marriage and other harmful practices in Nigeria.
She said free education will also give females who were married off early the opportunity to return to school.
“Education is a life investment; it is the first empowerment we give a child. Once a child is educated, she can decide what is right or bad for herself,” the minister said.
The minister also recommended that offices and organisations should maintain day-care centres, so that “mothers can concentrate on their preoccupation or studies without much distractions”.
During the conversation, Hermaine Kembo, a special rapporteur who led the AU’s monitoring team to Nigeria, said the visit was to follow up on the improvements made on ending child marriage in the country.
Speaking further, the minister expressed concern over the negative impact of early marriage, adding that the COVID pandemic worsened the situation in the country.
She, however, said Nigeria has recorded significant progress in tackling child marriage through collaboration with relevant ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), including the launch of campaigns to end child marriage.
Source: The Cable