10 States with Highest Rate of Child Labour in Nigeria

A new National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) research highlights the prevalence of child labor in Nigeria.

According to the study, by 2022, almost 24 million Nigerian youngsters will be working as minors, with 14.3 million doing dangerous tasks.

The northwest geopolitical zone has the greatest proportion of child laborers (6,407,102) and minors working in hazardous jobs (3,266,728). However, the southeast region has the highest percentage prevalence of child labor, accounting for 49.9% of all children who work.

Almost two out of every five Nigerian children lives in horrible conditions, as indicated by the country’s 39.2% child labor rate (24,673,485) and 22.9% hazardous work rate (14,390,353).

The survey also showed that youngsters aged 5 to 17 labor an average of 14.6 hours each week.

HowNG identifies Nigeria’s top ten states with high rates of child labour.

1. Cross River

Cross River State leads the list, with 67.4% of youngsters engaging in labor. While the percentage is highest among the youngest age group, the problem maintains persistently into adolescence, highlighting a significant concern for the state.

2. Yobe

Yobe State has one of the highest rates of child labour, at 62.6%. Notably, the youngest age group is highly impacted, with a steep drop-off in the oldest group, which could be due to cultural, educational, or economic factors influencing children’s labor force participation.

3. Abia

According to Abia State, 60.1% of children work, with a peak of 66.9% among those aged 15 to 17. This increase may reflect a greater reliance on older children for difficult tasks.

4. Plateau

Plateau State, with a total of 58.9%, has a consistent pattern of child labour across all age groups. The findings point to a consistent level of child labor that does not vary much with age.

5. Taraba

58.6% of Taraba’s youngsters work. The state has lower percentages in the 12-14 age group, which contrasts with the more consistent patterns seen in other states.

6. Ebonyi

Ebonyi’s numbers, at 56.2%, are influenced by lesser engagement in the middle-age category. According to the data, while younger and older children are more likely to be involved in labor, those aged 12 to 14 are slightly less so.

7. Imo

Imo State has a concerning trend in which the incidence of child labor in the 12-14 and 15-17 age groups is alarmingly high, at 64.2% and 65.4%, respectively. The state’s total stands at 56.2%, notwithstanding the dramatic growth in child labor as youngsters grow older.

8. Kogi

Kogi State has a more uniform distribution across age groups, with 54.4% of children aged 5 to 17 working. The state appears to maintain a somewhat even percentage across all age categories, implying a stable level of child labor participation.

9. Bauchi

In Bauchi, the ratio rises slightly to 53.3%. Interestingly, the data shows a falling tendency with age; the 5-11 age group has a high incidence, which gradually decreases in older children, indicating a potential shift in responsibilities or possibilities as children mature.

10. Akwa Ibom

In the South-South state, 52.5% of the children work. Despite being at the bottom of the list, the numbers are worrying, with the 12-14 age group being much less affected than their younger and older colleagues.



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