By Philip Yatai

The Kaduna Social Protection Accountability Coalition (KADSPAC) on Tuesday appealed to the Kaduna State government to approve the state’s Social Protection Policy Implementation Plan, 2021 – 2023.

Its chairperson, Ms Jessica Bartholomew, made the appeal in a statement she issued in Kaduna where she noted that 2021 was almost ended but the plan was yet to be approved for implementation.

Bartholomew recalled that the government launched the social protection policy in February to address the vulnerability of the poorest residents and to mitigate their social and economic shocks.

She stated that the dream was to have a Kaduna State where the poorest and most vulnerable residents were supported to live productive, fulfilling, and dignifying lives through a system that left no one in the cold.

She added that the policy listed measures to achieve the dream and objective of ensuring that no citizen fell below the poverty line.

They are social assistance, social insurance, labour market intervention, social care, legislation and regulations.

Bartholomew stated also that a draft implementation document had been developed as a systematic approach to the delivery of social protection intervention through the measures.

She added that, if approved, the plan would set in motion steps towards fulfilling government’s commitment to give the poor and vulnerable a life of dignity.

According to her, the delay in the approval of the plan poses a serious challenge to achieving the dream of supporting the poor and the vulnerable to live productive, fulfilling, and dignifying lives.

She stated that the first phase of the implementation plan which was expected to cover 2021 to 2023 would require N128.2 billion to implement.

She stated also that the plan, if implemented would provide N5,000 monthly allowance to 150,000, poor and vulnerable households, and N5,000 disability benefits to 50,000 persons with disability by 2023 under social assistance programme.

“There will also be a N5,000 maternal and child cash transfer to support child health and nutrition to 50,000 infants and young children by 2023 also under social assistance intervention.

“The plan also made provision for the establishment of an informal sector pension scheme and Kaduna State Social Protection Trust Fund under social insurance scheme.

“This is to prevent vulnerable households from risk and shocks that could force them into extreme poverty,’’ she stressed.

Bartholomew added that under the labour market intervention, the plan provided for the establishment of Youth Agricultural Access Promotion Scheme.

This would enable 150,000 young residents to transform their respective farming activities into thriving agribusinesses.

She explained that under social care, government planned to establish community-based case management, early warning, and referral mechanisms, to ensure that social protection interventions were integrated into community life.

“The plan also provided measures to strengthen social protection system with relevant institutional frameworks, legislation, and regulations.

“These include the establishment of institutional and legal framework and establishment of social protection agency, among others.

“These are laudable initiatives which if implemented, would lift thousands of poor and vulnerable households out of poverty and significantly impact on the state’s human capital development drive,’’ Bartholomew stated.