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Civil Society Leaders Forum Demands Holistic Implementation Of Social Protection Programmes



Civil Society Leaders Forum Demands Holistic Implementation Of Social Protection Programmes

Government at all levels in Nigeria have been charged to ensure proper implementation of social protection programmes towards poverty alleviation among citizens.

The charge is against the backdrop of the high level poverty in the country, particularly with the prevailing economic hardship after the removal of fuel subsidy last year.

At a Civil Society Organisations’ Dialogue on Social Protection and Sustainable Development, CSO leaders demanded a holistic and comprehensive implementation of government’s social protection programmes.

The dialogue was supported by PERL-ECP programme funded by the United Kingdom’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

The SCOs leaders in the Forum include the President of Lawyer Alert, Barrister Rommy Mom, Executive Director, Centre for Transparency Advocacy, Faith Nwadishi, Dr Funmi Akinyele, Chief Executive Officer, Food Basket Foundation International, the Executive Director, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities, David Anyaele, the Founding Executive Director of African Center for Leadership, Strategy and Development, (Center LSD), Dr Otive Igbuzor and the Executive Director of Praxis Academy, Jaye Gaskia.

Others are Emmanuela Azu of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), Lawal Amodu of Center LSD, Edewor Egedegbe of Value Rebirth Centre, Obialunanma Nnaobi-Ayodele of Meluibe Foundation, Ubaka Emeka Betram of Persons with Disabilities Action Network (PEDANET), Atakpu Leo of Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Tijani Abdul Kareem of Socio-Economic Research and Development Centre (SERDEC) and Clement Ekeoba of CLAPE Consulting among others.

The Co-ordinator, Civil Society Leaders Forum On Social Protection and Sustainable Development, Dr. Otive Igbuzor said the Forum was formed to articulate and project the wishes, voices and aspirations of citizens and citizen groups in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of social protection and sustainable development programmes.

His words “We are guided by the values of inclusivity, co-creation, empowerment, equity and partnership. The group’s approach to work is anchored on the principles of co-creation and partnership between government and citizens promoted by the Open Government Partnership (OGP) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

“The group is conscious that Social Protection has been acknowledged across the world as a veritable way to reduce poverty. Unfortunately, Nigeria has not benefited fully from the implementation of a comprehensive Social Protection Programme.”

Otive lamented that t Nigeria ranked third in hosting the largest number of poor people in the world after India (first position) and China (second position) in 2014 but by 2018, Nigeria was declared as the world poverty capital with around 87 million people living in extreme poverty compared with India’s 73 million according to the World Poverty Clock.

“It is important to note that the population of Nigeria in 2018 was estimated to be about 195.9 million which is about 15 percent of the population of India (1.353 billion) and 14 percent of China (1.393 billion), yet it hosts the largest number of poor people in the world. The change was partly as a result of social protection policies implemented by China and India combined with enlightened leadership and pressure from below.”

Quoting McKinsey Global Report, 2018, Otive said “China lifted 713 million people and India 170 million people out of poverty between 1990 and 2013. They achieved this feat through inclusive, pro- poor growth; fiscal policies for wealth redistribution; employment generation; public service provision and social protection.”

Otive said the Forum was established to educate citizens about the benefits of properly implemented Social Protection Programmes, advocate for the adoption of Comprehensive Social Protection programmes at all levels of government, advocate and promote laws, policies and programmes that will contribute to sustainable development in Nigeria.

He said the Forum would collaborate with development partners, private sector and government on the formulation, implementation and evaluation of Social Protection and Sustainable Development Programmes in Nigeria and would remain the leading collective voice and driving force for Social Protection and Sustainable Development in Nigeria.