KDSG strengthens partnership with citizens to deliver inclusive social protection programmes



The Kaduna State Government says it will strengthen partnership with citizens and groups to deliver inclusive social protection programmes to the poor and vulnerable.

Mrs Saude Atoyebi, the Focal Person of the State Social Investment Office, said this in Kaduna on Friday at the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Technical Working Group (TWG) Meeting on Social Protection.

Atoyebi, who was represented by Mrs Rebecca Padonu, the Special Assistant to Gov. Nasir El-Rufai on Social Investment Programme, said the partnership would ensure robust engagement of citizens in pro-poor programmes.

She explained that the state government had made a commitment in the second OGP State Action Plan 2021 to 2023 to work with citizens to strengthen inclusive social protection systems in the state.

The focal person, who is also the Government Co-chair of the TWG, said that the second action plan was built on the successes recorded in the first action plan of 2018 to 2020.

She said that the measure was part of efforts to improve citizens’ engagement, transparency and accountability in governance process through partnership with citizens.

The focal person added that social protection was added in the second action plan because of its crucial role as tool to ending multidimensional poverty among the poor and vulnerable in the state.

She said “the TWG is made up of government partners implementing various social protection programmes, civil society organisations and media working together to deliver on the commitment in the action plan.

“We will be working with citizens’ groups to ensure we deliver on this commitment based on the OGP principle of co-creation and co-implementation of policies and programmes by the state and non-state actors.”

She identified some of the commitments in the action plan as the development of a credible register of Poor and Vulnerable Households and enrollment of more poor and vulnerable into existing social protection programmes.

Others, according to her, are to increase the number of beneficiaries accessing social protection programmes and track budget performance of social protection programmes and enact social protection law.

Mr Philip Yatai, the Citizens Co-Chair, said that the objective of the meeting was to strengthen synergy between government and Civil Society Organisations (CSO) and members of the technical working group.

Yatai added that the meeting was also for government and CSOs to agree on joint implementation of the state action plan.

He further said that the meeting was organised to provide an update on progress and challenges in the implementation of various social protection programmes in the state and review reporting templates.

“In spite of several efforts by the state government, significant gaps in the provision of social protection services still exist in the state.

“Social protection is about upholding human dignity and promoting the overall wellbeing of individuals amidst socioeconomic adversity.

“The commitments in the action intends to bridge identified gaps in rendering social protection services in the state,” he said.

Mr Adejor Abel, the State Lead Facilitator, Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn (PERL), said that dialogue between government and citizens would foster inclusive development.

Abel said that PERL, a United Kingdom governance programme, would continue to support dialogue between government and citizens to deepen citizens’ participation in governance.

On his part, Mr Victor Ogharanduku, the Social Protection Specialist, Save the Children International, commended the state government for working with citizens to deliver inclusive social protection programmes.

According to him, social protection programmes will achieve the expected outcome if government and citizens regularly discuss and review progress, challenges and the way forward. (NAN)