The minister said this during a joint ministerial press briefing in Abuja ahead of Children’s Day 2021 on May 27 and World Menstrual Hygiene Day on May 28.
Tallen said the proposed policy will pose a great danger to MHM and the successes recorded by the ministry in this regard.
“We will also take this opportunity to highlight to the relevant authorities the dangers of the proposed national policy on diapers and sanitary napkins.
“Increasing the import tariff on diapers and sanitary napkins from 20 percent to 55 percent will pose a threat to menstrual hygiene management.
“This policy will undoubtedly affect the availability, affordability and acceptability of sanitary napkins in the country.
“This will further undo the successes recorded so far by this ministry in this regard”, she said.
According to her, available statistics indicate that around 37 million Nigerian adolescent girls and women of childbearing age do not have access to menstrual hygiene products due to the high costs.
She noted that any increase in the import tariff will affect the consumer price and purchasing capacity, which will be detrimental to women and girls, knowing that it is an essential commodity.
“This high cost of menstrual products which in the long run will be borne by women and girls will certainly affect schoolgirls across Nigeria.
“This will create a ‘period of poverty’, a situation where women and girls do not have access to sanitation products due to financial constraints. ”
The Minister said that the 2021 theme, “It’s time to act,Was a call to make sure girls and women don’t feel constrained by their periods through increased education on menstrual hygiene.
On Children’s Day, Tallen stressed the need to protect them from violence, neglect and abuse.
She said this could be achieved when the 36 states and the CTF fully integrate the Children’s Rights Act (CRA) of 2013 and the Prohibition of Violence Against Persons Act (VAPP) of 2015.
The permanent secretary of the ministry, Dr Anthonia Ekpa, stressed the need to make life more meaningful and enjoyable for children, especially the most vulnerable.
Also, Director, Advocacy and Campaigns, Save the Children International-Nigeria, Mr. Amanuel Mamo, denounced the effects of COVID-19, saying it has exposed more children to exploitation, early marriage and disruption of education.
Mamo said the organization, with support from the Cuppy Foundation, donated N50 million of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Infection Prevention and Control (IPU) to Lagos State and at the FCT.
He added that an additional response to COVID-19 and medical supplies and oxygen devices worth over 38 million Naira and 20 million Naira had been donated to Lagos and Jigawa states.