FG engages NE/NW on the need to rejig Social Protection policy.

Olusola Idowu
In the group picture are Honourable Commissioners, the Permanent Secretaries, Representatives of all the 13(thirteen) States in the NE/NW, development partners and CSOs at the Zonal consultation on the Review of the National Social Protection Policy and the acceleration of SDGs implementation in Nigeria, recently in Kano.
In the spirit of “leaving no one behind” in line with the prescription of 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 including CSOs 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 to accelerate acceleration of SDGs implementation in Nigeria.
The zonal 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 today in Kano, the Permanent Secretary, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Olusola Idowu, stressed 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.
Earlier, the Director, in his opening statement reiterated that the consultation and review process  was to ensure a comprehensive National  Social Protection policy that would convey the desire of the government  of Nigeria for institutionalization and presentation to nigerians as a “Nigerian document”.
Adeyemi, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Social Protection, Budget and National Planning, 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.
Imaobong Udoh