By Philip Yatai
Save the Children International (SCI), has commended efforts by the Kaduna State Government to institutionalise social protection.
The organisation’s Social Protection Specialist, Mr Victor Ogharanduku, made the commendation on Thursday in Zaria at an ongoing four-day workshop to design youth-focused social protection programmes.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that social protection is a set of policies and programmes designed to reduce poverty vulnerability to it, by diminishing people’s exposure to economic risks.
It enhances people’s capacity to protect themselves against hazards and interruption, or loss of income or means of livelihood.
Ogharanduku stressed that having a social protection legislation would be a landmark achievement that would ensure sustainability, effective coordination, and implementation of social protection programmes in Kaduna state
He pointed out that currently, social protection programmes were being implemented in an uncoordinated manner, and therefore faced the threat of being thrown out by the new administration.
He said that the Save the Children International, under its Expanding Social Protection for Inclusive Development (ESPID), was supporting to strengthen social protection systems in Kaduna State.
He explained that ESPID was being funded by the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
According to him, a social protection law is a key system strengthening for delivery of inclusive shock responsive social protection programmes that will leave no one behind.
Earlier, Mrs Saude Atoyebi, Focal Person, Kaduna State Social Investment Office, said that the development of the Social Protection Bill had reached advanced stage.
Atoyebi said that the bill had been reviewed and world be updated soon by the Ministry of Justice to reflect the design of the youth-focused social protection programme being designed.
“Once this workshop is concluded, we will have a meeting with the Ministry of Justice for final deliberation before the final Law Review with Gov. Nasir El-Rifai and the State Executive Council.
“We are getting closer and in the next one month, the bill should be submitted to the State House of Assembly for passage,” she said.
She expressed optimism that with the legal framework in place, social protection systems would be strengthened.
She added that the state government already allocated reasonable funds for social protection in its 2022 budget.
The legal framework seeks to establish a Social Security Agency and Social Protection Trust Fund, among other provisions, in line with the Social Protection Policy.