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Kaduna government exploring options to finance social protection programmes

By NAN
19 September 2022   |   12:20 pm
The Kaduna State Government is exploring options for financing social protection programmes, to address multidimensional poverty among residents of the state.

Kaduna State Governor, El-Rufai

The Kaduna State Government is exploring options for financing social protection programmes, to address multidimensional poverty among residents of the state.

Mrs Saude Atoyebi, Focal Person, Kaduna Social Investment Office, stated this in Zaria, at a two-day meeting to validate the State Fiscal Space Analysis Report, supported by Save the Children International (SCI).

Social protection is a mix of policies and programmes designed to prevent and reduce poverty and socio-economic shocks by promoting and enhancing livelihood and a life of dignity.

Atoyebi, who was represented by Mrs Rebbeca Padonu, Special Assistant to Gov. Nasir El-Rufai on Social Investment Programmes, said that the goal of the analysis was to increase the state’s fiscal space to expand social protection coverage

She said that the report explores a series of options open to the state government for increasing the fiscal space.

This, according to her, will allow the state to dramatically improve the living standards of Kaduna residents through a stronger social protection system.

“This will be achieved through an inclusive, robust, realistic, and well-coordinated social protection system, with a floor that leaves no one below the poverty line.

“However, it is expedient for Kaduna State to create sufficient fiscal space for social protection.

“This will enable the government to effectively deliver on the promises of the Kaduna State Social Protection Policy, Implementation Plan and the recently developed youth-focused social protection programme,” she said.

The focal person commended SCI, other development partners and Civil Society Organizations for the support towards the implementation of inclusive social protection interventions in the state.

She particularly thanked SCI for supporting the state government in developing the fiscal space analysis report, with budget analysis and spending projections.

Also speaking, Commissioner, Planning and Budget Commission (PBC), Hajiya Umma Aboki, noted that budget allocation and releases were very critical to the success of social protection programmes in the state.

Aboki, who was represented by the Director, Monitoring and Evaluation, PBC, Mrs Jummai Bako, said: “We are all vulnerable and need protection from the government against financial risk and shocks.

“The report, will, therefore, give us an idea of the state fiscal space and where we need to prioritise our spending and redirect some resources into social protection programmes”.

On his part, Mr Victor Ogharanduku, Social Protection Specialist, SCI, said that social protection should not be viewed only as an expenditure but also as an investment.

Ogharanduku stressed that seeing social protection spending as an investment would create the most impact on addressing poverty.

He explained that globally, social transfer was being financed through taxes, and social insurance with contributions from the employer and the employee, while labour market intervention was often financed by the employer.

He, however, stressed that investment in Social Protection primarily depends on prevailing political and social will, based on the policy space and fiscal space.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that participants at the meeting were representatives of critical government agencies, Kaduna Social Protection Accountability Coalition and the Open Government Technical Working Group on Strengthen Social Protection.