The immediate Past Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA); Mr. Dakuku Peterside, the Senior Special Assistant (Education) to the Executive Governor, Lagos State, Mrs. Adetola Salau, the General Manager, Consumer Marketing, MTN Nigeria Mr. Kola Oyeyemi, and the Executive Vice Chairman, Verdant Zeal Group, Dr. Tunji Olugbodi, recently led other dignitaries at the unveiling of the Boy-Child Transformation Centre (BTC) in Lagos.
A brain child of Ms. Nkiru Moghalu-Oguadinma, the Centre is an intervention platform that provides a positive, permanent shift in the quality of the life of the boy-child. The Centre aims to impact the society by promoting healthy, respectful, boy-child causes while offering transformational programmes and resources for schools, foundations, community groups and government agencies.
In her welcome address, the founder and Chief Transformation Officer of the Boy-Child Transformation Centre, Ms. Moghalu-Oguadinma noted that so much emphasis has been placed on the girl child and it has made the boy-child an endangered gender
According to her, “Evidence shows that more women and girls have received attention and consideration as they are seen as more vulnerable to abuse, attacks, and also as being less privileged. However, the boy-child grows to become a bigger danger to the society.”
She noted that when a crime occurs in the society, it is likely to be 4-times a man than a woman. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed the top 10 crimes in the country to include stealing, armed robbery, murder, Indian hemp offenses, sex offenses, contempt of court offenses, unlawful possession of arms and properties are committed by men.
Today, the prisons have 90% men convicts. Other challenges that boys face have led to a surge in suicide rates; the use of drugs and narcotics and school dropouts.
Delivering the keynote address, Dr. Dakuku Peterside noted that there is a need to end the various stereotypes against both genders. He noted that the girl-child is genetically and biologically stronger than the boy-child. As more boy-child die in the first 5 years. He charged everyone to raise responsible boys from the family circles, adopt a mentorship model and ensure that there is Peer Support System. He urged the government, at all levels, to advance the interest of children through various policies.
Highlighting the various ways by which the Lagos State Government is working at advancing the cause of children in the State, the special guest at the event and Senior Special Assistant (Education) to the Executive Governor, Lagos State, Mrs. Adetola Salau, stated that the state is working on building the holistic child by entrenching character development as part of the curriculum.
She admonished everyone to work in harmony, collaborate and ensure that team building is reintegrated into our lives. “Every child desires a society should that accepts and places value on every human being regardless of gender”, she added.
Panelists who contributed to discussions at the event include Mr. Kola Oyeyemi, General Manager, Customer Experience, MTN Nigeria; Dr. Tunji Olugbodi, Executive Vice Chairman, Verdant Zeal Group; Dr. Ifeyinwa Nwakwesi, CEO, Healthy Living Services; Mr. Bayo Sanni, an Impact Investor and Mrs. Fabian Ogunmekan, Executive Director, Women in Successful Careers (WISCAR).