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KDSG will jail parents not sending children to school, says Gov. El-Rufai

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Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, on Wednesday reiterated that his administration would jail parents who refuse to enrol their children in school.

The governor, who made the remarks in Kaduna at the opening of a public hearing on the state’s Social Protection Policy document, said his administration would not allow anyone to toy with the future of children in the state.

He said the state government is providing 12 years of free and compulsory education for children from primary to secondary school, as such parents have no excuse not to send their children to school.

“Every parent that doesn’t send his child to school, will go to jail because he destroys the future of his child without any reason.

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“Every child under the age of 5 is entitled to free medical care for every kind of illness in our public health facility; antenatal care is also free for pregnant women.”

El-Rufai said the state government would ensure the protection of the poor, the old, sick and persons living with disability in the state.

He said the state vision regarding social protection was to have a progressive society with necessary tools and environment for citizens to attain their full potentials.

According to him, social protection includes providing quality education, access to affordable health services, encouraging job creation and building infrastructure.

He added that social protection was also about upholding human dignity and promoting the ability of individuals amidst socio economic adversity.

The governor noted that most of the over 10 million people in the state were young people without jobs and mostly poor, as such the government would continue to address their problems to the best of its ability.

“What we are trying to do in Kaduna state is to augment the Federal Government social protection programme by targeting more vulnerable people into the social protection umbrella.

“At the state level, we have targeted sectors that require the most critical interventions,” he added.

He disclosed that the state women empowerment fund was recently increased to N800 million, to enable vulnerable women to be self reliant and capable of accessing education, healthcare and skills.

“We will implement the state social protection policy to hamonize all social protection initiatives and efforts,” he said, adding that the government would remove any form of discrimination against any citizen irrespective of age, gender, ability or disability, ethnic, religious or political affiliation.

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El-Rufai tasked participants at the public hearing to provide novel ideas on how everyone will be protected, ensure that everyone is safe without hunger, and is also healthy and productive.

“We want you to honestly tell us how we can do this and how to find the money to do it.”

On her part, Saude Atoyebi, chairperson the State Steering Committee on Social Investment, said the government has taken social protection seriously, because of the realisation that investment in physical infrastructure is insufficient without a deliberate effort to invest in the people in order to reduce poverty.

“Investment in the area of social protection are linked to improvement to the human development index which measure life expectancy, educational attainment and standard of living of people.”

She said her committee was tasked with developing the social protection policy by harmonizing all social protection initiatives in the state to minimize duplication, so that people would drive maximum benefits.

Atoyebi assured that the committee would produce a policy document which will be implementable and a reflection of the desire of the people.

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