Nkechi, a middle-aged woman, will face charges for allegedly enlisting her grandson, who is seven years old, in money-making ventures in Onitsha, Anambra State.
This was disclosed by the Commissioner for Women and Social Welfare, Ify Obinabo, after a group of traders apprehended the boy for selling sachet water in Ochanja market during school hours.
The Commissioner said she had summoned the grandmother, while the victim was in state government’s protection, vowing to prosecute other offenders of child labour in the state.
She expressed concern about the escalating incidence of child labour and emphasised the government’s commitment to holding offenders accountable.
According to her, one major effect of child labour is instability as the childhood of the victims had been taken away from them.
She further advised parents to take advantage of Governor Chukwuma Soludo-led administration’s free education to enroll their children in school.
Narrating his ordeal, the hawker, said his grandmother had asked him to hawk sachet water so they would be able to feed.
He said: “I’m a primary 2 pupil and living with my grandmother in Onitsha while my mother is in Lagos with my elder brother.
“It was my grandmother who asked me to hawk sachet water so we would be able to feed. She usually gives me N250.00 every day to purchase water and I trek from 33 to Ochanja each day to make sales.”
On the profit he makes per day and what the proceeds were used for, the victim said: “I make about N2,000 every day and we use it in buying rice and spaghetti to eat.
The traders who brought the victim to the commissioner, also donated the sum of N10,200 to assist him enroll in school.
The commissioner expressed gratitude to the traders who belonged to the Ochanja Market Union for their decision to bring the boy to her attention, urging others to follow their example for the betterment of society.
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