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Govt moves to bridge rich-poor gap, targets 10m in social protection net

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to curb insecurity and further bridge the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor, the Federal Government’s social protection policy is targeting 10 million households, even as the final review is completed.

Minister, Vice Chairman of National Planning Commission (NPC) Abubakar Suleiman, who made this disclosure yesterday in Abuja at the decisive stakeholders review of the draft National Social Protection Policy, said that “it must tackle permanently the issues of insurgency and other social vices, we must create a platform that will bridge the growing gaps between the rich and the poor.”

Suleiman said the desire of the Federal Government is to ensure the implementation of the policy document into outcomes that would improve the living standard of vulnerable Nigerians, who dwell not only in the rural areas but also in the urban slums. He noted that the “level of poverty and deprivation is something that anyone who cares about the future of this country cannot afford to overlook.”

While stating that the “President would very much want this policy to be one of his major achievements within the tenure,” the Minister said “I have no doubt in my mind that if this policy is approved and implemented, more than ten million households will be lifted off the line of vulnerability into a higher quintal”.

According to the representative of the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) in Nigeria Enrique Dala Monica, the policy seeks to provide a social flow and life of dignity for all Nigerians.

Dala Monica, who is the Chief of Social Policy and Gender Equality, UNICEF Nigeria also said, “all of the policy affects the Nigerian child, it lingers from issues of pensions and the worldwide evidence is that when grand parents have a little bit of extra money, the bulk of which goes to their children.

“There is also provision for employment and we know that one of the things that is required is for the children to go to school, the parents must have to work to provide for them. Basically all elements of social protection, directly or indirectly affects children, because it provides for a life of dignity, where the children live,” he said.

Acting Secretary to the Commission, Bassey Akpanyung said the acceptability and implementation after approval by the Federal Executive Council would be appropriate for national development.

“The policy is concerned with preventing, managing and overcoming situations that adversely affect people’s wellbeing, these concerns consists of policies and programmes designed to reduce poverty and vulnerability.”



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