JUST IN: No more lodging of underage girls in hotels, FG warns

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The Federal Government has warned hoteliers across the country not to harbour teenagers and underage girls in their facilities or risk being sanctioned.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, read the riot acts on Saturday at the ‘Unlock Training and Grants’ ceremony in Abuja.

The programme, which saw 200 young entrepreneurs receive N100m, was organised by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Technical, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Education, Abiola Arogundade.

In January 2023, some students of Federal Government College in Ijanikin, Lagos, were caught absconding from school to lodge female classmates in hotels for sexual romp.

Media gathered that the students, all boarders, were said to have on different occasions scaled the school’s fence with their female counterparts and stayed out of school for days.

Findings by our correspondent revealed that the students involved in the act were between the ages of 14 and 17.

Similarly, in April 2022, a video clip of a 15-year-old boy who was accosted while trying to lodge two girls and another guy in a hotel room went viral on social media.

The teenage schoolgirls, however, took to their heels when the voice behind the camera attempted to probe them on their mission.

But Kennedy-Ohanenye vowed that it would no longer be business as usual.

To further depict the seriousness of the Federal Government, the minister disclosed that hoteliers, especially in the Federal Capital Territory, have been directed to mount a signpost outside their hotels warning prospective clients to lodge any underage girls in their premises.

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She also extended the riot acts to proprietors of schools across the country, warning that they should ensure no student is allowed to be bullied by either teachers or students.

She said, “Nigeria must be better. From 20th (June), we have directed hotels to put a sign outside from the Ministry of Women. No lodging of underage girls. (Otherwise) what happened in Niger State will be an understatement of what will happen in the FCT and I mean it.

“No more lodging of underage girls and no more bullying in schools.”

Continuing, the minister announced to journalists that the FG has commenced a probe into the distasteful viral clip of 10 Nigerian teenagers who were rescued from neighbòuring Ghana where they were trafficked for prostitution.

Three of the victims, ages between 15 and 16, were said to be from the same parents.

They were reportedly beaten, molested and forced into prostitution without pay.

While explaining their plights, the Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said the girls were rescued after a tip-off by NIDO, the umbrella body of Nigerians living in Ghana.

Kennedy-Ohanenye, however, promised that the government would take decisive action on the matter next Monday.

“Women are suffering in this country. Today, we have talked about the need to allow the poor to breathe in this country.

“Meanwhile I am sure you saw the video circulating about our girls taken to Ghana. Did you see it? Very good. Action will start on Monday. You will hear about our action first thing on Monday morning. That is the first thing I am going to approach and see what we can do about it,” she fumed.

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