The Gombe State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare says it plans to collaborate with religious bodies towards tackling the problem of child labour in the state.
Mr Joseph Markus, Director, Child Welfare in the Ministry disclosed this in Gombe on Friday.
Markus said the ministry was worried about rising cases of child labour especially among young girls in the state.
“Some farmers have now resorted to employing young girls as labourers to work on their farms.
“These girls who were mostly between the age of 9 and 14 come from a poor background and are trying to look for means of livelihood.
“The girls usually come out from villages along Gombe -Bauchi and Gombe- Yola road every morning to wait for farmers who are willing to employ them as labourers and after subjecting them to hard labour, pay them a paltry amount of between N200 and N300 for a whole day’s job,” he said.
“We in the ministry we are collaborating with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and religious groups to stop the trend.
“We are looking for the possibility of returning these girls back to school because most of them were drop out.
“If a girl is educated she has a chance of living a healthier and happier life and also has a self-confidence that she needs to be a better parent in future,” he said.
A farmer who pleaded for anonymity said he prefers using the girls in his farm because they work tirelessly and they don’t demand much.
Speaking Aisha Mustapha one of the girls who were engaged in the farming business said she is doing it to save money for items needed for her marriage as well as to support her parent who are poor.
She said in a month she realises N9,000 depending on the nature of job her employer wants her to do, adding that is a lucrative business.
A 12-year Kubra Yakuba said she is doing it to save money to start a business as well as support her poor parents.