A group, Coalition of Social Protection Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Partners has unveiled a Social Protection Advocacy to fast track poverty eradication campaign in Kaduna State.
Newsmen report that the group is a national coalition of CSOs advocating for increased media coverage of social protection programme in the country.
The campaign tagged: ‘Social Protection to End Poverty (#SP2EP2023) is being implemented in collaboration with the Kaduna Social Protection Accountability Coalition (KADSPAC).
Chairperson of KADSPAC, Jessica Bartholomew said the exercise was an initiative of the National Social Protection Forum (NSPF) being implemented in Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Zamfara, among others.
She said the group was an umbrella body of CSOs, media and development organisations working towards promoting transparency and accountability in Social Protection (SP) programmes.
She noted that social protection programme has been a critical development instrument in the country in the past 10 years, noting that it had potentials to lift individuals and households from extreme poverty, build resilience against shocks, stress and disasters such as flood, drought and pandemics.
She, however, identified lack of adequate funding, legislation and fragmentation of interventions as some of the obstacles militating against effective implementation of the programme towards improving the social and economic status of the poor and vulnerable.
According to her, the campaign is designed to secure continued commitment of governments and political candidates to facilitate sustainable investment in the social protection programmes to raise the living standard of the vulnerable population.
She said, “the #SP2EP2023 campaign will ensure functional and coordinated system for health, education and employment for all.
“The campaign will address issues of poverty, gender and social inclusion for children, persons with disability, senior citizens and other marginalised groups in the society.
“It aim to create awareness among Nigerians on benefits of social protection, and encourage them to demand for it to ensure a resilient society through inclusive governance and efficient interventions.
“It is also to strengthen the capacity of the electorates to demand for social protection services as a right in the 2023 general elections as well as support CSOs and citizens to hold winners of the elections accountable to their campaign promises on social protection”.
Also speaking, Mr Philip Yatai, Co-chair, Open Government Partnership (OGP) Technical Working Group (TWG), said Gov. Nasir El-Rrufai’s administration accorded pririoty to social protection programme, adding that the government was working through the OGP-TWG to enhance access to intervention at the grassroots.
He said the campaign was critical towards reducing the number of people living below poverty line through increased access to intervention.
According to him, only 3.7 per cent of the population of the state has been covered under the programme, while unemployment rate stands at 43.3 per cent.
One of the participants, Malam Muhammad Sabo called for measures to compel wealthy individuals to give out Zakkat (Alms) in accordance with Islamic teachings.
He also advocated skill acquisition programmes for youth and women, adding that the measure would enhance implementation of the social protection programme.
NAN reports that the event was attended by representatives of development organisations, CSOs, gubernatorial candidates, community leaders, People Living with Disabilities, among others.