KDSG, coalition partner to boost transparency in social protection – The Sun Nigeria

The Kaduna State Government and the Kaduna Social Protection Accountability Coalition (KADSPAC) joined forces on Thursday to enhance transparency and accountability in the implementation of social protection programs for the poor and vulnerable.

They made the promise in Kaduna, during a day-long panel discussion on strengthening transparency and accountability in the social protection system through the Open Government Partnership (OGP).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was organized by KADSPAC, in collaboration with the OGP Technical Working Group (TWG) on Social Protection, supported by Save the Children International (SCI).

Planning and Budget Commissioner (PBC), Hajiya Ummi Aboki, said the OGP was a valuable platform through which citizens engage in the governance process.

Aboki, who is the government co-chair of OGP, said the quality of engagement of governance processes by citizen groups over the years has improved the quality of governance in the state.

Represented by OGP Focal Point, Mr. Tara Jerimiah, the Commissioner said working with citizen groups under the OGP structure would ensure the necessary transparency and accountability in the social protection space.

“We have opened our doors to work with citizens in the design and implementation of programs and policies to promote transparency and accountability in accordance with the principle of OGP.

“We will continue on this path in delivering social protection programs that aim to lift the poor and vulnerable of our beloved state out of poverty,” she said.

KADSPAC President, Jessica Bartholomew, stressed the need for a healthy synergy of work between all state social protection actors for maximum results.

This, she said, will ensure that a reasonable number of poor and vulnerable people are reached by social protection interventions from government, development partners, the private sector and other stakeholders.

“As an accountability coalition, we have been at the forefront of monitoring social protection programs, to ensure programs are not only inclusive, but delivered transparently.

“There is therefore a need to strengthen the synergy of work between ministries, departments and implementing agencies of social protection (MDAs) so that we can make progress in lifting people out of poverty.”

Furthermore, Citizens Co-Chair, OGP, Ms. Hadiza Umar commended the state government for opening its doors for citizens to engage in the governance process.

Umar, who was represented by the Secretary of the OGP Civil Society Steering Committee, Mr. Joshua James, however, said more needs to be done to enhance transparency and accountability.

Earlier, the Citizens Co-Chair, OGP TWG on Social Protection, Mr. Philip Yatai, said that the state government is committed to strengthening its social protection systems using the structure of the OGP.

Yatai said in the OGP State Action Plan, 2021 to 2023, the government committed to working with citizens to achieve the milestones outlined in the plan for every resident to live a dignified life. .

Similarly, the government co-chair of the TWG, Ms. Saude Atoyebi, said that the collaboration with KADSPAC and other civil society organizations had been very fruitful over the years.

Atoyebi, who is the focal person of the Kaduna State Social Investment Office, is committed to deepening the engagement of organized citizens working in the social protection space, towards the implementation of programs inclusive social protection.

Represented by Ms. Rebecca Pandonu, Special Assistant to Governor Nasir El-Rufai on Social Investment, the co-chair said social protection implementing MDAs will continue to partner with citizens’ groups for transparency.

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.

Ms. Murjanatu Kabir, Advocacy and Communications Coordinator, SCI, said the organization would continue to support the transparent delivery of inclusive social protection programs as part of its Social Protection Extension for Inclusive Development project.

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

Joel C. Hicks