The economic impact of the violence against children in Nigeria is estimated to be about USD$6.1 billion, which is equivalent to about 1.07 percent of the country’s GDP.
The high economic cost of violence against children in Nigeria was revealed in an unprecedented report, launched jointly by UNICEF and the Federal Government, under the leadership of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning and the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
Speaking at the launching of the report, Mrs Ifeoma Anagbogu, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development disclosed that the cost of inaction is high when it comes to violence against children.
“Violence affects children’s health, education, and productivity. It is clear that we need to eliminate any form of violence against children, both from a moral perspective and an economic perspective.”
UNICEF Country Representative in Nigeria, Mohammed Fall spoke on the need to increase investment in child protection services in the country.
“This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, giving us an opportunity to join our collective efforts to protecting children from violence, abuse and neglect. This includes a re-commitment to increase investment in child protection services”.
The report revealed that about half of the Nigerian children surveyed experienced physical violence by parents, adult relatives, direct or indirect caregivers or community members, before they reached 18.
The financial loss is from the cumulative loss of earnings due to loss of productivity, stemming from suffering associated with different degrees of violence, over time.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Mr Olajide Odewale emphasized that the findings of the study point to the strong need for increased funding of interventions by government to reduce violence against children in Nigeria.
It was noted that the study may actually underestimate the economic burden of violence against children, as several serious consequences of such violence were not included, due to a current lack of data.
“The evidence presented in the report indicates an urgent need to provide child protection services in Nigeria and prioritize the elimination of violence against children.
It will ensure the country’s human capital has the mental, physical, and emotional stability needed to boost its social and economic development.”