Coalition calls on Kaduna MDAs to improve budget allocation for social protection – The Sun Nigeria

The Kaduna Social Protection Accountability Coalition (KADSPAC), an NGO, has appealed to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Kaduna to improve social protection (SP) outcomes and performance through budget allocations.

KADSPAC, a civil society and media coalition, works to strengthen transparency and accountability in the provision of inclusive social protection.

Nigeria’s NAN news agency, reports that the Kaduna government in 2021 launched the SP policy to address the vulnerability of the poorest residents by mitigating their social and economic shocks.

KADSPAC Chair Jessica Bartholomew made the call during a one-day event on the dissemination of budget execution for 2021/2022 through the Open Government Partnership (OGP) on Thursday in Kaduna .

The theme of the event was “Scaling up investments in the social protection sector to address multidimensional poverty among residents of Kaduna State”.

She said a systematic approach to delivering the SP intervention is social assistance, social insurance, labor market intervention, social protection and legislation, regulations and institutional framework.

She explained that if MDAs improve their budgetary allocations on social protection, it would accelerate steps towards realizing the government’s commitment to give the poor and vulnerable in the state a dignified life.

Bartholomew said MDAs’ lack of improvement in their budget allocations for MS posed serious challenges in realizing the dream of helping the poor and vulnerable live productive, fulfilling and dignified lives.

She called on MDAs to compel and publish the requested information in a timely manner, to facilitate the tracking of funds intended for SP.

Mr. Yusuf Goje, Deputy Secretary of KADSPAC, said that in line with their mandate to promote transparency and accountability in the implementation of social protection interventions, they have embarked on budget monitoring activities in the Concerned MDAs of Kaduna State.

He explained that budget tracking aims to identify blockages and gaps in funding for social protection interventions and engage in advocacy to strengthen it.

Goje said Kaduna state’s population of about 10 million, where 49.9 percent lived on less than $1.9 a day and 44.3 percent unemployment, was worrying.

He further said that the poverty rate of 43% and the 654,990 out-of-school children in the state clearly showed a shift to where resources were needed.

He noted that for 2021, the percentage of cash-backed budget allocation was low and that the SP budget line of some MDAs
no budget has been allocated to the articles.

He said it was a setback and needed to be revisited to ensure citizens feel the impacts of MS for the overall welfare of the state.

Furthermore, Saudat Atoyebi, the Kaduna State focal person for social investment programs, lamented that 89.9% of households in Kaduna were living below the poverty line in a survey conducted in 2017.

Atoyebi, represented by Rebecca Pandonu, Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s special assistant on social investment, said the state implemented SP interventions such as free and compulsory education for the first 12 years of the government. education of a child.

She said other interventions were the state contributory health scheme to reduce out-of-pocket expenses and ensure access of poor and vulnerable citizens to quality and affordable health services.

She further said that other MS interventions implemented in the state were access to free health services for children under five, and also coordinated many federal government MS programs.

She mentioned some of the successes of the MS program in Kaduna to include a comprehensive mapping of statewide programs and the formation of a state multi-sector steering committee on MS.

she said others were the establishment of the State Social Investment Office for effective coordination and development of the state policy on social welfare and the provision of one percent of the state budget. state for its funding, which is now reflected in the state budget.

Atoyebi, however, lamented challenges such as insufficient social workers and staff trained in MS and insufficient funding to expand its coverage.

she added some challenges to include low levels of digital literacy among vulnerable people, insecurity in some parts of the state, and insufficient awareness of social protection programs in hard-to-reach areas and urban slums.

Atoyebi recommended additional training for staff working in the SP space and increased funding to expand its coverage and improve digital literacy among the poor and vulnerable.

She also recommended adequate security for staff working in high-risk areas and increased awareness of social protection programs in hard-to-reach areas and urban slums.

In addition, Mr. Adejor Abel, Senior State Facilitator, Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL), a governance program, called for auditing the state social registry to ensure quality Datas.

Abel also called on MDAs to engage community structures such as local government accountability mechanism, community development charter champions and other groups, to deepen grassroots citizen engagement.

NAN reports that the event was supported by Safe the Children International as part of the FCDO-funded Expansion of SP for Inclusive Development (ESPID).

NAN also reports that participants at the meeting included representatives from social protection implementing MDAs, civil society organizations and development partners. (NOPE)

Joel C. Hicks