The Open Government Partnership’s (OGP) Technical Working Group (TWG) on Strengthening Social Protection Systems in Kaduna State has commended the government for the efforts to provide a legal framework for its social protection programmes.
A Bill for a law to provide for the Social Security Scheme and for connected matters, 2023 is among six Bills submitted to the Assembly by the State Executive Council for passage.
This is a “laudable step” towards fulfilling the state government commitment in its OGP State Action Plan II, to provide a legal framework for social protection programmes.
Social protection is about upholding human dignity and promoting the overall wellbeing of poor and vulnerable individuals amidst socioeconomic adversity.
However, the state is faced with the challenge of high poverty level, incoherent strategy towards addressing poverty, vulnerability, social exclusion and poor access to education, health, and nutrition services.
Therefore, the government made a commitment to strengthen its social protection system to bridge identified gaps in rendering social protection services and provide a life of dignity to all residents.
The TWG also commended the Kaduna Social Investment Office, headed by Mrs Saude Atoyebi for working with critical stakeholders and development partners to draft the Bill.
We equally lauded the support of Save the Children International, Kaduna Social Protection Accountability Coalition for supporting the state to strengthen its systems to ensure inclusive delivery of social protection programmes.
The Bill, if passed, will establish a social protection agency for effective coordination of social protection interventions and social security trust fund to bridge the funding gap.
The Bill also made provisions for social assistance to lessen, remove or prevent the causes or effect of poverty, as well as health insurance cover and pension scheme for the population.
The measure will ensure sustainability of social protection as a tool to address multidimensional poverty affecting a larger portion of the state population.
The Bill seeks to bring all social protection agencies under a single coordinating body, institutionalise social protection programmes for sustainability and strengthen social protection systems in the state.
“This is in line with the State Social Protection Policy approved in 2020 to guide the implementation of social protection programmes for the poor and vulnerable people against economic adversities.
“The policy commits to inclusive social protection programmes that leaves no one behind, regardless of cultural, ethnic, religious, or partisan affiliations, but provides equal opportunity for residents to live productive and dignifying lives.”
We urged the leadership of the State Assembly to ensure speedy passage of the Bill that would be critical in providing a life of dignity to the poor and vulnerable population in the state.
We also appealed to the House to hold a public hearing on the Bill to enable citizens make inputs into the bill and address some concerns.
Philip Daniel Yatai
Citizens Co-chair, OGP TWG on Strengthening Social Protection Systems in Kaduna State