Under-12 Apprentices

Nigerian Government Takes Stand Against Child Labour: Prosecution for Under-12 Apprenticeships.


In a significant move to combat child labour, the Nigerian government has announced its intention to prosecute individuals found engaging apprentices under the age of 12. This decisive action was highlighted by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment during a roadshow sensitisation rally held at the Kugbo Furniture market in Abuja.

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Emphasizing the gravity of the issue, the Minister reiterated that such practices constitute a violation of both United Nations and International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions and standards. The government has solidified its stance on this matter within the framework of Labour Law, Cap. 198, Sections 49–53 LFN.

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Enforcement efforts are already underway across the nation, with the Ministry of Labour and Employment conducting sensitisation campaigns in all six geopolitical zones. The aim is to raise awareness about the illegality and detrimental effects of child labour within apprenticeship schemes.

Furthermore, the government is actively promoting legitimate avenues for skill development and employment generation. As part of this initiative, Trade Test Certificates of Competence are being issued to deserving beneficiaries. To participate in these programs, apprentices must undergo accreditation by the Department of Skills Development and Certification within the ministry.

This concerted effort underscores the government’s commitment to protecting the rights and well-being of children while fostering sustainable economic growth through skilled labour. By enforcing age restrictions on apprenticeships and providing avenues for legitimate skill acquisition, Nigeria aims to create a brighter future for its youth and the nation as a whole.

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