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NBS reports 24 million Nigerian children in forced labour

Over 24 million Nigerian children between the age of 5 to 17 are reported to be embroiled in child labour.


The last survey on child and forced labour carried out by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Ministry of Labour and Employment with the support from the Netherlands government, submitted.

The figure, according to the Nigeria Child and Forced Labour Survey conducted in 2022 shows that of the 24,673,485, (39.2%) of the child population caught in the web of child labour with a nearly equal distribution among boys, 39.6% and girls 38.8%.

Of these figures, 30.0% of the child workers are found in urban settings while 44.8% are in rural areas.

Further breakdown of the data revealed that 31,756,302 of Nigeria’s child population, representing 50.5% are in economic activity while 14, 390,353 (22.9%) are in hazardous work.

Regionally, the North-West geopolitical zone bears the highest brunt in child labour with 6,407,102 and 3,266,728 in hazardous work.

In contrast, the South-East stands out with the highest rate of hazardous work and child labour, affecting 49.9% of its child population.

The report also indicates that 5.2% of individuals per thousand are subjected to forced labour in their current employment, drawn from a total of 617,503 individuals identified in 2022.

The sectors most affected include services, excluding domestic work 36.9% and agriculture 36.2%.

The Statistician-General of the Federation and CEO of the NBS, Semiu Adeyemi Adeniran, affirmed the reliability of the data, which was gathered from a sample of 16,000 households across all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Adeniran emphasised that the findings provide stakeholders with a solid foundation for making informed decisions.


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