Child Labour In Nigeria, Challenges And Prospects

Project and Seminar Material for Child and Basic Education

Child Labour In Nigeria, Challenges And Prospects


The research is concerned with Child Labour in Nigeria, Challenges and Prospects. The most important aspect of this study is to investigate to what extent labour among children affect their moral conducts and social relationship with others because no individual person leaves in isolation, the research also aims at determining the socio-economic effects of labour in order to bring them to the notice of the people and offer possible and valuable suggestions so as to find a lasting solution to the problems which have become canker worms.

Methods: The population of this study consists of randomly selected people in the streets of Lagos and also some female child labourers while cross-sectional survey design was used through the purposive sampling technique to choose the sample size of one hundred and sixty-two (162) respondents. The validated structured questionnaire and In-Depth Interviews (IDIs) served as the instruments for the data collection respectively. The hypotheses were tested using Chi-Square at a predetermined 0.05 level of significance. The quantitative data were analysed with the aid of the SPSS (version 20).

Results: The results indicated among others that child labour had significant social implications and physical consequences on children’s moral behaviour as well as health status in the study area.

Conclusion: The study, therefore, concluded that the government of Nigeria should carryout an enlightenment campaign through the media and religious institutions on the negative consequences of child labour are recommended as panacea. Also, the child right act instrument and its implementation should be strengthened in order to curb child labour in the study area.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Children Child labour is a widespread phenomenon in Nigeria today. This is especially the case in urban areas. Labour is a form of commerce in which the seller (merchant) transports goods (goods or goods) from one place to another in search of potential buyers. Children Child labour refers to the sale of goods by a person under the age of eighchild (Child labour). Children Child labourers are school-age children (at school, street vendors) who, for reasons of school need, associate the school with economic activities despite its consequences.

The phenomenon of child street traffic raised concerns among the government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), teachers and school administrators. Studies show that children combine school education and street vending to contribute to family survival, study materials and the payment of school fees (Johnson, &Ihesie, 2015). Literature suggests that parents allow their children to have fun due to the tense economic situation in Nigeria (Akpan and Oluwabamide, 2010, Shailong, Onuk and Beshi, 2011, Ayodele and Olubayo-Fatiregun, 2014, Clark and Yesufu, 2014); Idris, Yahaya, Sambo, Muazu and Isa, 2014). An empirical study shows a significant correlation between the professional level of parents and street frenzy in children (Dada, 2013). Given this situation, it is unlikely that children’s street traffic can be stopped before.

In recent years, the uproar of children in school has been a broad area of research (Iorvaa, 2007, Ashimolowo, Aromolaran and Inegbedion, 2010, Faruta and Yambuk, 2013, Bosah, Offem and Obumneke-Okeke, 2015 and Johnson &Ihesie, 2015) due to concerns about their academic performance. Academic achievement is a central aspect of the education system. It is a measure of student progress, the effectiveness of teachers and the general level of education. This could be defined as the ability of the students in the school to reach or exceed the expected grades. In general, it is believed that child hunts are one of the factors that influence the academic performance of students at school. Researchers such as Akpan and Oluwabamide (2010); Ashimolovo et al. (2010); Ubajaka, Duru, Nnebue, Okwaraoha and Ifeadike (2010), Ekpenyong and Sibiri (2011); and Johnson and Ihesie (2015) are calling for a law against street vendors in Nigeria. This indicates that street vendors who do not have children have the opportunity to concentrate on working at school. Although it is desirable to prevent activities that interfere with the education of children, this is not possible if such activities are the means of living if there are no other alternatives (Omokhodion, Omokhodion & Odusote, 2006, Anumaka, 2010). ,, Insisting on exclusive education for low-income children or unemployed parents is likely to: hinder enrollment; It leads to dropping out and dropping out due to school costs and the need for survival. In view of the above situation, it is better to allow schoolchildren to carry out income-generating activities during school hours than not to go to school (Okpukpara, Chine, Uguru&Nnaemeka, 2006). In addition, there are street vendors in the school who perform better in academic work. Recent studies show that 35.7% of students scored lower, 31.2 better grades and 33.1 did not change their grades from street trading (Johnson, &Ihesie, 2015). This implies this, despite the challenges it brings. The combination of school and work gives students who perform better. This situation has nothing to do with factors that minimize the impact of combining school attendance and cleaning the throat.

Effect of labour on in-school children can be reduced when labour time is minimized (Omokhodion et al., 2006). It is not unlikely that academic performance of child-child labourers would be better when parent regulate labour time and monitor school work. Labour time is the period in which students carry out labour. This could vary based on schedules of school work and/or convenience. Studies suggest the in school children ` labour time could be: before school hours; after school hours; before and after school; and weekend/holydays (Education Research Network for West and Central Africa (ERNWACA), 2010; Ubah, &Bulus, 2014). Labour time could determine students: attendance in school; participation in extracurricular activities; amount of time for study at home and rest. These are factors that are likely to influence academic performance of students.

On the whole, this survey is principally aimed at eradicating all those features of our behaviour in the past which have made our society a by-word for disharmony, dishonesty, distrust and disservice, the survey aims at raising our individual and collective consciousness to enable us dream great dream and attain lofty goals.

To seek and to attain what is noblest in human nature, to place the highest value on and respect the dignity of human life and finally to purse honest endeavours and to take pride in personal advance only through hardwork.

Child labour is a form of selling goods along the road from one place to the other (Umar 2009). It also extends to be an act of canvassing for sale items carried by a labour along the street, from house to house or in the public space (Ikechebebu et al 2008: 114). Child labour is a veritable means of socialization in the western part of Nigeria and it is widely practiced despite the attendant moral and physical dangers for children (Ebigbo 2003:103). In Nigeria, child labour is done mostly by female children. Children hawk different items, ranging from food to different types of non-edible items. Some children have a particular spot where they stay to sell their wares. Some move from place to place along the street, while others go from door to door in residential area (Grootaert and Kanbur 1995:4). Child labourers sell tray of goods on their head by moving from one street to the other. The labour that sell similar goods walk different directions while those that sell goods that complement each other like food and drinks walk in the same direction. The youngest among these children are followed by an adult child who also sell different things in order to teach the younger ones how to calculate or protect the child against any occurrence. These child labourers shout on top of their voices to announce what they are selling in the community so as to attract the attention of intending buyer of their arrival.

Child labour is rampant among children in Ifo Local Government, Ogun State, Nigeria as was observed personally by the researcher. According to the local community leader, child labour has been in existence there for a very long time. As the major occupation is farming and trading, during the time of trade by barter, when a farmer’s harvests crop, he takes from the harvested crops for food consumption. The remaining has to be traded within the neighbourhood by the wives and children, so that they will get the money needed to purchase some other things needed in the household. Due to structural change (discovery of cruel oil), currently many people are moving out of the agricultural sector and migrating to the city for a decent job. There is not much attention for farming any longer. As a consequence, most households nowadays buy things for the children to hawk around the neighbourhood with their mother. By so doing, children are taught how to trade for future purposes (personal observation)

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The number of children engaged in child labour has been increasing at an alarming rate in the society. It is also pertinent to note that observation and experience have showed that the average and well to do individuals look forward to see these labourers to buy things they want to buy or need either internationally or as a result of lack of alternative seller. It is in the light of this therefore, that the researcher intends to know much more about the labourers and why members of the general public prefer to buy their immediate needs from them despite the various government effort to eradicate the immoral practice even though the parents and guardians of the labourers seem to turn blind eyes and deaf ears to both its social and economic implications.

The researcher is particularly interested in identifying the unalterable group of individually perceive their chosen system of trade, possible reaction from some of the force and aggrieved labourers. On the whole, the researcher is very much interested in knowing the kinds of steps taken by the government and the factors that led to their occurrence.

1.3 Objective of the Study

  1. To examine the cultural concept of child labour
  2. To identify the causes and prospects of child labour
  3. To know the socio-economic impact of child labour
  4. To identify the challenges that come along with child labour and measures government can take to curb or reduce child labour

1.4 Research Questions

The research seeks to answer the following research questions below:

  1. What are the social and economic implication of labour?
  2. What are the possible prospects of childlabour?
  3. What categories of people indulge themselves in labour?
  4. What is the government’s position on labour and the labourers?
  5. How does the members of the school community perceive labour and labourers?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  1. Ho1: Child labour has no significant social implications on children’s moral behavior.
  2. Ho2: Child labour has no significant physical consequences on children.

1.6 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study will focus on the challenges and prospects of child labour among children in Nigeria.

1.7 Significance of the Study

The study sought to find out the Perception of undergraduates on the effects of child labour on children. The findings of this study therefore, are expected to contribute to the understanding of situation in child labour and ways of handling it. It is hope that, this study will benefit school administrator, teachers, Parent Teachers Association (PTA), parents/guardians and researchers.

To the school authorities, the findings of this study are expected to be useful in planning guidance and counselling to students involve in child labour. To the teacher the findings of the study are expected to be useful in teaching of students.

To the Parent Teachers Association, the findings of this study are expected to be useful as adviser to the parents. For example, parents can be advised to monitor the academic progress of their children and provide them supportive environment such as; learning material, enough time to rest, and assistance in home work.

To the researcher, the findings of this study are expected to provide information for further study.

1.8 Definition of Terms


A child, is a person who falls within the ages of 13 to 19 years old. The word “children” is another word for an adolescent. When a child turns 20, they are no longer children: they are no longer in that developmental stage.
Labour: to sell goods informally in public places

Children Labourers:

Children labourers refers to the exploitation of children through any form of work that deprives children of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular school, and is mentally, physically, socially or morally harmful. Such exploitation is prohibited by legislation worldwide, although these laws do not consider all work by children as children labourers; exceptions include work by child artists, family duties, supervised training,


Perception is the means to see, hear, or become aware of something or someone through our fundamental senses.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

During the course of making research into this topic, the research as reliable told that majority of the labourers lack a positive and satisfactory relationship with parents or guardians, because they are fully engaged in labour from down to deep night and this had negatively affected their normal development. The researcher also gathered during the course of this survey that labourers denied the positive ventures of gaining recognition and obtaining sanitization try to acquire same through negative source such as stealing, cheating and prostitutions.

Furthermore, the researcher was made to understand that adolescent labourers more than others engage in such act as smoking, drinking alcohol, sexual intercourse, cheating and so on. It must be mentioned here that the researcher was reliably informed that some of the labourers slept outside their home due to exposure to negative influence.

5.2 Summary

On the whole, information received from the respondent’s revealed that some parents encourage labour in order to makes ends meet and to overcome poverty engendered by the unequal distribution of wealth and opportunities in the society. Experience had also shown that a larger percentage of the labourers became prone to resisting control especially parental control.

The researcher wish to restate here that a total of three hundred and fifty questionnaires were distributed to the same number of respondents. In this survey, a total number of 53 respondents comprising of 15 percent attributed the cause of labour to poverty while 140 of the respondents about 40 percent attribute the cause of labour to the present day socialization, the remaining 45percent of the respondents that supported a population of 157 attributed the cause of labour to materialism.

In terms of economic implications of labour, a lot of men have been financially embarrassed, because they always want to keep and increase the pace at which they buy things from their labour girlfriends as a result of the competitive nature of the game, furthermore, a lot of married obligations to their wives (who were once probably labourers) because they want to reserve whatever amount of money they control to their girlfriends who are labourers.

On the part of the labourers, they tend to be economically extravagant and buy things that have little or no value to them, the labourers buy luxury things like jewelries, expensive clothes, cosmetics and so on, that they will be judged on the abuse of their attractiveness, their looks, their charms, the sex appeal and so on, and the number of suitors had lost thousands of naira to (labourers) who had earlier promised to be their wives but had their proposals changed by their parents who in actual fact were not aware of such courtship.

5.3 Conclusion

Labour has been confirmed to be social problem and it’s consequent implications has been attributed to the end result of anti-social behaviours, the researcher had observed that some social problems do not necessarily originated from an individuals but rather, they have cultural believes and labour is not an exception, the researcher was made to understand that traditionally, labour as a system of trade in Ikeja is as old as the first settlers of Ikeja.

In the whole of Ikeja, labour has been socially and traditionally accepted in many social centres, market places working and public places and above all, cultural occasions. As a result of this, the possibility and changes of engaging in anti-social behaviours during labour is left open to individuals labourers and this lead them to problems of prostitution, alcoholism, stealing, abortion and so on.

The deviant behaviours indulged in by the labourers has been identified to be as a result of the pursuit of the values that the rest members of society are running after, but only through channels and means that are unacceptable to the society, as in the view of Robert Merton in his book “Social Structure and Anomie”. It is therefore of the researcher’s opinion that some labourers prostitute, steal and cheat to get money because of the value the society puts on property and they could not acquire this through the normal and honest labour.

A larger number of the respondents asserted that money has become the only visible means by which such enhancement may be facilitated and the desire for it has become so uncontrollable that ethics and morals are thrown to the winds in the bid to acquire wealth so that their taste for fashion could be accomplished.

On the whole, the researcher’s survey has shown that child labour has social and economic implications. Some of which has been highlighted in the previous chapters. It also has three principal causes which include poverty, socialization and materialism, apart from some minor influences which include tradition. It is in view of this that the researcher is obliged to state here that the two hypotheses in this research had adverse social and economic implications in the society.

Furthermore, the researcher found it pertinent to in a nutshell, to redefine the principal causes of labour as being used in this write up, poverty is being defined as the state of being poor and unable to sustain a living on his own. As already seen, the labourers that make up for this system of trade constitutes only 15 percent of the labour population. Socialization as one the cause of labour on the other hand has being asserted to be a process whereby a new member of a society acquire the necessary experience that will make him an effective member of his new environment and is therefore concerned with preparation for participation in group life. The labourers in this category constitutes for about 30 percent of the labour populace.

Finally, materialism is the state whereby some individuals place value only on material things wealth and bodily comforts in order to fit into the society they belong to. The researcher wish to conclude here that the survey had shown that labour’s boyfriends and sugar – daddies have given them a lot of moral and financial supports, they had helped them make a lot of major decisions. They are so much in love that they don’t hide anything from each other. It is unfortunate that regular customers in there businesses, holding firmly that one good turn disserves the other with the philosophy that nothing goes for nothing.

5.4 Recommendations

Just like other researchers, this researcher has a number of recommendations to make in order to put an end to the social and economic implication of child labour. Now that the two hypotheses have being tested during the period of survey and the positive hypothesis carried the day, the researcher is confident that what the research result has shown is exactly the true picture of the whole story.

Moreover, the researcher is of the humble belief that if these recommendations are strictly applied, the socio-economic consequences of labour would turn to a thing of the past. Below are the researcher’s recommendations:

  1. To effectively eradicate child labour in Ikeja the social welfare office and the social welfare department of Ikeja should be adequately founded by the government and the private organization.
  2. Parents must give more emphasis on moral rectitude and discipline of their children girl.
  3. Social workers should be given wider powers to enable them arrest and prosecute any labourers found on the street practicing this system of trade.
  4. The state government should as a matter of urgency provide the social workers with motorcycles so that they will enjoy carrying out that noble duties, the state government must also provide the social welfare office, Ikeja with a vehicle so that the officials can effectively monitor the activities of the labourers and other clients.

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