Kaduna Govt using social protection policy to address deprivation, vulnerability – Official

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 The Kaduna State Government is using the Social Protection policy to address deprivation, exclusion and vulnerability facing a larger proportion of the state population.

Mrs Saude Atoyebi, Focal Person, Kaduna State Social Investment Office, stated this in Zaria on Wednesday at the ongoing four-day workshop to design a youth-focused social protection programme.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that social protection is a set of policies and programmes designed to reduce poverty and vulnerability by diminishing people’s exposure to economic risks.

It enhances people’s capacity to protect themselves against hazards and interruption or loss of income or means of livelihood.

Atoyebi, who joined the meeting via zoom, explained that the state was making efforts to build a home-grown solution to address the high incidence of poverty, particularly among young people.

“We are building something that is indigenous to Kaduna State and not subject to factors outside our control in terms of implementation.

“One of the major things that we are trying to do is to address deprivation, exclusion, and socio-economic vulnerability that a lot of people in Kaduna state face.

“We are trying to address multidimensional poverty. So, it is beyond addressing the poverty of consumption, but a holistic solution that will address the different vulnerabilities and challenges that young people face,” she said.

She said that the youth-focus social protection programme would deal with high poverty affecting young people in the state which constitute about 70 to 80 per cent of the state population.

According to Atoyebi, who is also the Deputy Chief of Staff, Administration, to Gov. Nasir El-Rufai, it is one thing to shout about the numbers and another thing to think of a solution and try to do something about it.

“We know that most of our population are unemployed. We know that there is a huge rate of exclusion of young people from different social protection programmes.’

“Most of the programmes are not specifically designed or targeted at young people and we can see ills now.

“We can see that a lot of young people have resorted to substance abuse and other negative activities affecting other people.

“It is, therefore, very important that we tackle these issues so that we can all move together and have a socially equitable society.”

Atoyebi commended Save the Children International for the continued support to strengthen social protection systems that would deliver inclusive, transparent and accountable social protection programmes.

NAN reports that the Demographic Dividends Roadmap for Kaduna State shows that the state has a large children and youth population, with 49 per cent of the total population below 14 years old.

It also shows that 67 per cent are less than 24 years old, 15 per cent within prime working age population of 35 to 59 while people above age 60 represents only 4 per cent of the total population.

This reveals a high dependency rate in the state, meaning that government efforts should be geared towards improving the welfare of the young population.

The focus should be in terms of health, education, security, gender equity, good economic environment, better employment opportunities, and entrepreneurial opportunities among others. (NAN)