Jofunmi Loving Heart Foundation Calls for Stricter Parenting Laws to Curb Teenage Pregnancies

In response to the increasing trend of teenage parenting in Nigeria, the Jofunmi Loving Heart Foundation, based in Ogun State, urged the federal and state governments on Monday to implement stricter penalties for parents whose neglectful parenting leads to their children becoming teenage parents.

The foundation highlighted that poor parenting exposes children to sexual activities at an early age, resulting in pregnancies as young as ten. They warned that this trend, if unchecked, could heighten insecurity, as immature parents often abandon their children or fail to provide proper training, perpetuating a cycle of societal threats.

Addressing children aged 14 to 16 specifically, the foundation called on the National Assembly to introduce a law mandating quality parenting and to review the enforcement of existing Child Protection Laws to ensure effectiveness.
Olusola Ojo, the Foundation's Project Coordinator, made these remarks during the 2024 Children's Day Celebration for children in the "hard-to-reach community" of Oladotun in the Abeokuta North Local Government Area. Speaking on behalf of the event's Convener, Ms. Ifedolapo Ojo, Ojo expressed deep concern over the rising number of teenage pregnancies in Ogun State, attributing this to parental failures.

Ojo emphasized that harsher penalties for negligent parenting could help curb teenage pregnancies. She also called on all levels of government to prioritize educational policies, ensuring Nigerian children receive their right to basic education.
"It's embarrassing," Ojo said. "Government should enhance sexual education in schools to compensate for parental shortcomings. Although laws exist in Nigeria, their enforcement is often weak. Educating children about these laws in school will empower them to understand and leverage their protections."

During the event, which entertained 400 children with food, games, and gifts, Ojo detailed the foundation's outreach efforts. These include empowering individuals and communities, promoting education through scholarships, supporting entrepreneurial initiatives, and improving access to healthcare.

Commenting on Nigeria's over 10 million out-of-school children, Ojo urged the government to revisit the Universal Basic Education (UBE) policy. "The government must ensure faithful implementation of the UBE policy, which was founded on thorough research. Neglecting this policy will only perpetuate rebellion among neglected children, who will eventually retaliate against the government that failed them," Ojo concluded.

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