Kaduna government explores social protection financing options — Nigeria — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News
The Kaduna State Government is exploring options for financing social protection programs, in order to tackle multidimensional poverty among residents of the state.
Ms. Saude Atoyebi, Focal Point, Kaduna Social Investment Office, told Zaria, during a two-day meeting to validate the State Fiscal Space Analysis Report, supported by Save the Children International (SIC).
Social protection is a set of policies and programs designed to prevent and reduce poverty and socio-economic shocks by promoting and improving livelihoods and dignified lives.
Atoyebi, who was represented by Ms. Rebbeca Padonu, Special Assistant to Governor Nasir El-Rufai on Social Investment Programs, said the objective of the analysis was to increase state fiscal space to expand social protection coverage.
She said the report explores a range of options open to the state government to increase fiscal space.
This, she says, will enable the state to significantly improve the living standards of Kaduna residents through a stronger social welfare system.
“This goal will be achieved through an inclusive, strong, realistic and well-coordinated social protection system, with a floor that leaves no one below the poverty line.
“However, it is timely for Kaduna State to create sufficient fiscal space for social protection.
“This will enable the government to effectively deliver on the promises of the Kaduna state social protection policy, implementation plan and recently developed youth-focused social protection programme,” she said.
The focal person commended SCI, other development partners and civil society organizations for supporting the implementation of inclusive social protection interventions in the state.
She particularly thanked SCI for supporting the state government in developing the fiscal space analysis report, with budget analysis and expenditure projections.
Also speaking, the Planning and Budget Commission (PBC) Commissioner, Hajiya Umma Aboki, noted that budget allocation and releases were very important for the success of social protection programs in the state.
Aboki, who was represented by the Director of Monitoring and Evaluation of the PBC, Ms. Jummai Bako, said, “We are all vulnerable and need government protection against financial risks and shocks.
“The report will therefore give us an idea of the state’s fiscal space and where we need to prioritize our spending and redirect some resources to social protection programs.”
For his part, Mr. Victor Ogharanduku, Social Protection Specialist, SCI, said that social protection should not be seen only as an expense but also as an investment.
Ogharanduku pointed out that viewing social protection spending as an investment would have the greatest impact on poverty reduction.
He explained that globally, social transfers were financed by taxes and social insurance with employer and employee contributions, while labor market intervention was often financed by the employer.
However, he underlined that investment in social protection depends mainly on the prevailing political and social will, based on political space and fiscal space.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that participants in the meeting were representatives from key government agencies, the Kaduna Social Protection Accountability Coalition and the Open Government Technical Working Group on Strengthening Social Protection.