Debate Over What Age Nigerian Children Should Own Cell Phones


A cross section of Nigerians have expressed mixed reactions on the appropriate age parents should allow their children to own cell phones.

In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) across the country on Sunday, Nigerians said that there should be an appropriated age a child should be allowed the use of cell phone.

Some said that parents should introduce cell phones to their children from 14 years and above, especially those in high school, while some said the appropriated age is 18 years.

Muyiwa Ugwu, a civil servant in Onitsha, said that the safest age to allow children use cell phones is from 18 years and above.

Ugwu said exposing a child to mobile phone at a younger age might lead them to pornography exposure online which could be devastating to a child’s sex life in future.


According to her, “pornography is more easily accessible than ever and it can ruin a child’s life.

“Early exposure to cell phones can sometimes lead to a life long addiction.

“A recently research on this issue states that about 93 per cent of boys and 62 of girls are exposed to pornography at adolescence age,” she said.

Ugwu, however, said that why most children get exposed to pornography in adolescence age often stems from parents being too lazy to monitor their internet activities.

She said parents who introduce cell phones to their kids at early stage should get an accountability software device such as “COVENANT EYES” that could help to keep everyone accountable.

Onyinyechi Promise, a petty trader in Kwara, said that the right age to allow a child own a cell phone is from 14 years.

“If a child is 14 and they walk home alone from school or if they have a baby sitting job that keeps them away from home or an emergency comes up, then it’s a good age for cell phone but the device should be a dumb phone.

“But if the child is never left alone, and they’re always in care of an adult then cell phone isn’t necessary for them,” she said.

Promise, however, said that early exposure to cell phone use by kids could destroy family conversations.

She said that early introduction to cell phone is responsible for over 3 per cent of parents and teenagers arguing daily on device usage.

Asher Emmanuel, a sports Coach in Abuja, said that the safest age to allow a child own a cell phone should be from 18 years and above and after their secondary school education.

Emmanuel said that giving a child a mobile phone at 18 and after secondary school education would help them explore the world.

According to her, “18 years and above can make good use of their cell phones and use it to do something productive such as graphic designing that can help them make money.”

Emmanuel urged parents to first instill values and principles that could help their kids not to fall victims of sexual predators online before introducing a cell phone to them.

Barnabas Agbo, a trader in Enugu state, said that the right age to allow a child own a cell phone should be from 12 years upwards.

Agbo said that the society is digital based and hides nothing anymore from kids, especially the unexposed ones who are illiterates about cell phones.

“Kids that are not taught or exposed to what mobile phone is at a younger age might likely get exposed to it through their friends who might lure them into watching ungodly videos,” he said.

He said that early exposure of cell phones to kids would help guide them on how to manage cell phones and also help to trim desperation that might lead them into developing bad attitudes. (NAN)


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