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By Emmanuel Daudu, Abuja

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq has commended the review of the National Social Protection Policy. (2017-2020)

According to Nneka Ikem Anibeze, S. A Media on 14-12-2021 stated that the Minister gave the commendation at a High-Level Discussion on the Draft Revised National Social Protection Policy held at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

Umar Farouq stated that Social protection is at the forefront of the development agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, given its positive social and economic impact and its ramification and life cycle effect on human capital development.

She added that the policy review will further make the process more transparent in line with the President’s vision of lifting 100m Nigerians out of poverty.

“The review of the National Social Protection Policy would not have come at a better time than now. The policy will define a clear line of engagement, track progress and spending on social protection in a transparent manner in line with Mr. President’s vision.

“I have a few thoughts for our consideration during this dialogue, central to which is the need to achieve a more useful coordination of the sector’s programmes. As you are aware, by design,  the different pillars of the Social Protection system operate through various institutional arrangements (at the federal and State levels) and across several Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of Government. This has created fragmentation in roles and responsibility for implementation and could be remedied through a joint coordination platform for the sector.

“I am therefore pleased above all, to note that the agenda of the Social Protection Policy Dialogue helps us build the groundworks for the achievement of this vision in a more systematic and collective way”.

In his opening remarks, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning Prince Clem Agba thanked all the Ministers of stakeholder Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) as well as Donors and Heads of other Government Agencies for their support towards the realization of the objective of the review of the elapsed National Social Protection Policy (2017-2020).

“It is important to note that the objective of the review is to address emerging issues, identify gaps and give the policy a national ownership that will carry the sub-national governments along. I wish to assure you all that the diagnostic report that produced the draft policy was presented to all the states of the federation including the FCT through the State Ministries of Economic Planning, to elicit inputs for the revised national Social Protection Policy. With this, I can safely say that the process was consultative because the sub-national governments were carried along.

“I wish to assure you all that the draft policy will be presented to the Federal Executive Council for approval when all necessary observations by the stakeholder Ministers are agreed upon. I also wish to inform us that the implementation manual and Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) framework for the policy is being prepared with the support of World Food Programme (WFP) within the joint fund for Social Protection”.

Prince Agba also noted that the Ministry of Budget and National Planning in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Justice and the four UN-Agencies supporting Social Protection led by the ILO have also developed a draft harmonized bill for Social Protection, aimed at institutionalizing Social Protection 
Programmes in Nigeria in addition to the Implementation, Monitoring, and Evaluation framework. The draft according to him will be passed through the National Assembly for legislative processes after it has been subjected to critical scrutiny by all stakeholder MDAs whose legal Advisers are already working with the Technical Working Group.

The Ministers of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social, Labour and Employment, Health, Education, and some other key Agencies reviewed the process that eventually produced the draft on the revised National Social Protection Policy.

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