By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
In line with the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning in collaboration with Save the Children, UNICEF, World Food Programme, UNDP, International Labour Organisation(ILO) and other relevant Stakeholders has began a 4day Stakeholders’ Consultation and Sensitization Workshop for the North-East/North West Zones for the Review of the National Social Protection Policy.
In a statement by the Deputy Director of Information, Mrs Imaobong Udoh in Abuja Monday, the consultation is aimed at eliciting inputs, on key Social Protection issues, identifying gaps, challenges and underlining priorities at the sub- national levels of government.
Declaring the Workshop open in Kano, the Permanent Secretary, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Olusola Idowu, stated that the zonal consultations were critical as Nigeria strived towards achieving the Nigeria Agenda 2030.
To this end, Idowu, represented by the Director, Department of Social Development, in the Ministry, Mr. Omotayo Adeyemi, charged State governments to take the bull by the horn by increasing funding for Social Protection activities in thier domains according to their peculiarities. This, she maintained would ensure the achievement of the SDGs.
The Director reiterated that the consultation and review process was to ensure a comprehensive National Social Protection policy that would convey the desire of the government for institutionalization and presentation to nigerians as a “Nigerian document”.
Adeyemi, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Social Protection, Dr. Sanjo Faniran, also hinted that the Ministry would develop a Monitoring and Evaluation framework to ensure compliance and synergy in the implementation of Social Protection programmes to ensure sustainability.
He also urged State governments to expand their social register which would be subsequently fed into the National register while tasking States who already had social protection policies in place, to revisit the policies to incorporate immerging issues.
He further applauded the unflinching support and commitment of all development partners, including the International Labour Organisation, UNDP, the Joint SDG Fund, ILO, UNDP, UNICEF, WFP that are implementing UN joint Fund for Social Protection to accelerate SDGs implementation in Nigeria.
In their various messages at the occasion, the Commissioners of Planning and Budget from Kano, Zamfara States, Permanent Secretaries of Planning from Sokoto and Gombe pledged their commitment towards rejigging their State Social Protection policies.
Also speaking at the event were: Executive Secretary, of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities as well as Action Against Hunger.
The technical session of the event had presentations on : Social protection concepts and definition, Current social protection policy and overview of policy review process, key Social Security Programmes, amongst others.
In the group picture are Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, Representatives of 13 States in the NE/NW and development partners.