The Federal Government has rejected the report of United States Department of Labour (USDOL) which blacklisted Nigeria as “engaging in child soldiering” owing to the onslaught of Boko Haram in the country.
Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, made the country’s position known when he received representatives of the department led by Mr Marlin Hardinger in his office.
According to Ngige, blacklisting of Nigeria as a result of desperate activities of Boko haram terrorists cannot be linked to the Federal Government.
“Similar low rating of the country by the department, includes sectors like agriculture, gold mining and construction as well as begging and scavenging.
“Child involvement in those sectors are partly, due to cultural practices as well as consequence of poverty and poor education in parts of Africa.
“The issue of artisanal gold mining by children was a cultural practice based on village groups who involve youths and women groupings,” he said.
The minister said that Nigeria would issue a technical report to appropriately respond to all the issues raised by USDOL and put them in proper perspective.
However, the U.S department commended Nigerian government for making significant progress in stemming the scourge of child labour and human trafficking in the country.
Hardinger said the reports reviewed Child Labour development in 142 countries, found moderate advancement in the nation’s efforts to tackle child labour.
“Significant update on the report covering 124 countries listed Nigeria to have been combating child labour.
“Nigeria has made efforts to do good legislation against child labour,” Hardinger said.
The representative added that the nation’s positive reports had been applauded by policy makers all over the world.