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FG Plans Legal Backing For Social Protection Programmes 

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The Federal Government in collaboration with Save the Children, UNICEF, United Nations Development Programme and other stakeholders is set to produce a draft bill that would legalize social protection in Nigeria.

The draft bill would harmonise all existing bills on social protection to produce an all-encompassing draft bill that would take care of both contributory and non-contributory social protection programmes in Nigeria.

The Permanent Secretary, Budget and National Planning, and Chairman, Technical Working Group on National Social Protection Policy, Mrs Olusola Idowu, represented by the Director, Social Development, Mr Sa’adu Bello, made this known at a five-day capacity building workshop for members of the TWGs on the review of the National Social Protection Policy.

The Federal Government has so far established four social protection programmes under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

They are the Cash Transfer Programme, the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme, the Job Creation and the Government Empowerment and Enterprise Programme.

The workshop was aimed at deepening the understanding of members on the concept of social protection as well as the commencement of the review process.

Idowu said that the group had been divided into five different sub-committees which included the Central Working committee, Technical Review, Legal and harmonization, Cross cutting, as well as the Stakeholders Consultation and Sensitization sub-committees, who would present their diagnostic reports to the TWG.

She appreciated the Development Partners and relevant MDAs involved in the social protection project, while hinting that the current policy on social protection, would be coming to an end at the close of the year 2020.

Consequently, the Permanent Secretary reminded the retreat participants that the Ministry had inaugurated a Technical Working Group for the review of the National Social Protection Policy 2021-2025.

The main essence of the review was to accommodate some emerging issues on social protection programme across sectors at both the national and sub-national levels of government.

The Senior Social Protection Specialist, Save the Children, Sheila Nkunika, who also spoke at the workshop, highlighted the importance of the principles of inclusiveness in drafting the new policy and the vulnerability of children which had become worrisome.

She advocated Social Protection as a platform to take care of vulnerable children.

Emerging issues as highlighted at the workshop were the need for a robust a monitoring and evaluation framework; need for an inter-ministerial dialogue and negotiations on the roles and responsibilities of MDAs on the revised NSPP.

They also agreed that there is need to strengthen the NSPP shock responsiveness; need for inclusiveness in the NSPP to take care of all vulnerable groups; and need for costed work plan among others.

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