Kaduna social protection policy will rescue residents from poverty – Report

The Kaduna State Government says its Social Protection Policy is designed to rescue about 84.9 per cent households in the state from poverty.

According to the draft policy document, obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Friday, the government is also committed to preventing residents from living below poverty line.

NAN reports that the draft policy document was made available by the State Steering Committee on Social Investment, headed by Mrs Saude Atoyebi, Focal Person on Social Investment.

It was made available for members of the public to validate and make input, as parts of citizens engagement and participation in policy formulation and implementation.

The document noted that the state’s General Households Survey, 2017 as indicating a whopping 84.9 per cent of households in the state living below poverty line of less than 1.9 dollars per day.

It stressed that social protection interventions in the state would be designed to progressively prevent residents’ exposure to economic and social risks and shocks that could force them into extreme poverty.

“No one, no matter how poor or vulnerable will be allowed to go without any basic necessities of life such as healthcare, education, safe shelter and environment, food, water and sanitation.

“The vision of the policy is to establish an inclusive, robust, realistic and well-coordinated social protection system that ensures no residents falls below the minimum level of social and economic wellbeing.

“Through this policy, government will put in place, a well-structured integrated social protection mechanism that is capable of reaching the poorest and most vulnerable citizens in a sustainable and humanely way.

“The overreaching dream is to have a state where the poorest and most vulnerable residents are supported to live productive, fulfilling and dignifying lives,” it said.

The document spelt out broad provisions and programmes toward realising the dream, noting that a progressive society must provide tools and the environment for citizens to exercise initiative and attain their full potentials.

“This entails delivering quality education, ensuring access to affordable health care, encouraging job creation, and building infrastructure, while ensuring that the very poor, aged, sick and persons living with disability are supported.

“In spite of the foreseeable challenges along the way, the government promised, through this policy, to deliver social protection interventions to the poorest and most vulnerable residents of the State.

“This will be done through various universal mechanisms, including social assistance, social insurance, social legislation, social empowerment, social care and social mobilisation,” it said.

NAN reports that the policy was developed by the steering committee, with technical support from Save the Children International, through a consultative process that covered critical stakeholders in the state.

They include Gov Nasir El-Rufa’i and other members of the Executive Council, members of the state legislature and the judiciary, labour union, and officers from the state’s ministries, department, and agencies.

Others are civil society organisations, UNICEF, UNFPA and other international development partners, persons with disabilities, religious and traditional leaders, and some beneficiaries of current social investment interventions in the state.

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