The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Tuesday praised Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal for signing the Child Protection Act into law.

The bill was signed on Monday in the presence of the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Calon.

In a statement titled ‘UNICEF welcomes signing of the Child Protection Proclamation in Sokoto State’, the agency described the new law in Sokoto as “a major step in the protection of children’s rights in Nigeria”.

Tambuwal signed the law 18 years after the Federal Government of Nigeria adopted the Children’s Rights Act 2003, and urged state governments to enact the law into state law.

According to the governor, the enactment of the Children’s Rights Act in 2003 was difficult due to cultural and lifestyle differences.

“We thank the Governor of Sokoto and, above all, the adoption of the Child Protection Bill,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria.

He added: “This is a major step forward for the rights of children across the country and will set an example for the rest of the states that have not enacted the Children’s Rights Act of 2003 to act as soon as possible. It also provides a clear indication that child rights measures must be implemented in all areas and at all times to ensure the rights and safety of all children.

The states that have not yet enacted the law are Adamawa, Borno, Bachai, Gombe, Jigaga, Kebibi, Yobe, Kano and Zamfara.

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