Nigerian singer, Bankole Wellington known in the music sphere as Banky W has called for an end to child marriage in Nigeria.
According to him, if countries like Saudi Arabia have been able to address successfully, issues of child marriage by raising the marriage age to 18 years, then Nigeria has no excuse to continue with the practice in this age and time.
He indicated that the practice is still more prominent in Nigeria because some of its citizens still hide under the cover of religion to encourage the act.
The Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E.) record label Boss made the comments yesterday in a tweet.
“Some Nigerians try to hide behind religion as the reason why they should be allowed to marry children. But if Saudi Arabia – the kingdom, the headquarters i.e. Mecca, can raise the age of Marriage to 18 (because it’s the right thing to do) then Nigeria has no excuse. #Timeup,” the tweet reads.
Child Marriage in Nigeria
Child marriage is said to be very common in the North West and North-East part of Nigeria.
It is also said to be very prominent in Nigeria’s poorest rural households and the Hausa ethnic group.
Statistics on Nigeria’s Child Marriage
Statistic available on www.girlsnotbrides.org indicates that 44% of girls in Nigeria are married before their 18th birthday. Out of the number, 18% are married before the age of 15.
According to UNICEF, Nigeria has over 3,538,000 child brides, the third-highest child brides in the world.
Globally, the country has ranked the eleventh (11th) in child marriage prevalence.
The practices are estimated to cost Nigeria about USD7.6 billion in lost earnings and productivity every year, the World Bank study in 2017 indicated.