Kaduna State Government will establish a Social Protection Agency to ensure that all social protection programmes are delivered in an integrated, inclusive and sustainable manner that optimizes resource utilization and achieves high impact.
Governor Nasir El Rufai made this known during launch of the Kaduna State Social Protection Policy at the Council Chambers of Sir Kashim Ibrahim House on Tuesday.
He also promised that ‘’the agency will utilize an Integrated Social Protection Management Information System, which will serve as a data repository to ensure that the poorest of the poor are prioritized in programme planning and benefits.’’
‘’This will also ensure the effective monitoring and evaluation of programme impacts on targeted poor and vulnerable residents of the State,’’ he added.
The governor said that the ‘’Social Protection Policy will be supported by a Social Protection Law. To ensure that Government delivers on its promise, a well-articulated Implementation Plan and Results Frame work have also been developed.’’
El Rufai noted that government is aware of the enormous cost of providing social protection coverage for the poor and vulnerable but it will ‘’ seek to guarantee minimum social protection floors for every poor and vulnerable person.’’
‘’ For this purpose, the Kaduna State Government welcomes partnership with all key stakeholders, donor agencies, private individuals, NGOs, and CSOs, in the social protection space.
El Rufai recalled that his administration has been anchored on promoting equality of opportunity since he assumed office in 2015.
According to the governor, the government has ‘’focused on expanding access to education and healthcare as the fulcrum of human capital development.
‘’This government has made education in the state free and compulsory for the first 12 years. We have also enacted the Child Welfare and Protection Law. Our public healthcare system offers free services for pregnant women and children younger than five years,’’ he added.
El Rufai further recalled that the government launched the Kaduna State Women Empowerment Fund (KADSWEF) in 2018.
‘’The fund began by disbursing N200m to women across the State as MSME loans. Over 7,000 women benefited from the scheme and have since begun repaying their loans. Our officials have visited over 3,000 of these beneficiaries to assess their trades and we are happy with the results,’’ he revealed.
The governor further said that Kaduna State became the first government to start paying the new national minimum wage of N30,000 monthly in September 2019.
‘’As part of our commitment to ensuring that no one is left behind, we also raised the minimum monthly pension to N30,000 for workers who retired on the old defined benefit scheme. The state began implementing the new contributory pension scheme on 1st January 2017,’’ he added.
In her opening remarks, the Kaduna State Steering Committee on Social Investment Chair, Mrs Saude Amina Atoyebi, thanked the State Executive Council for its support.
According to her, SEC not only approved ‘’ the State Policy on Social Protection, but for also approving 1% of state revenues to the yearly funding of social protection.’’
Mrs Atoyebi reiterated that the Governor El-Rufai led administration is passionate about providing a level playing field for citizens in the state and ‘’he has proven this by prioritizing access to education, health and skills for the poor and vulnerable amongst us.’’
The Chair appreciated ‘’ the leadership of Save the Children International, for their continuous and untiring support towards establishing and strengthening the social protection system in the State, through its Child Development Grant Program (CDGP).
‘’Since the State Steering Committee was constituted in October, 2019, they have supported the Kaduna State Government to develop the Social Protection Policy, its implementation plan and provided technical and capacity building support to State Government Officials,’’ she added.