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Workshop to Draft Social Protection Policy for Edo State to Reduce Poverty Holds in Benin City

The first Social Protection Policy by Edo State Government will change the narrative of Poverty in the state when enacted into a law.

This was disclosed by the Focal Person, Edo State Social Investment Programme, Ms Osayuwamen Oladeselu and other speakers during a Social Protection Policy Drafting /Capacity Building workshop held in Benin City.

The 3-day Policy drafting/Capacity building workshop for members of the Technical Working Group on Social Protection Policy Development was organized by the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning/Edo State Social Investment Programme in collaboration with Save the Children International.

The Senior Policy Advocacy Specialist, Mr Saheed Mustapha introduced participants to the most relevant Social Protection and Social Transfer discussions and debates facing the countries today, international best practices and practical design and implementation issues within the Nigerian context.

 He also spoke about unconditional cash transfer program which was implemented and how so many states have benefited from the programme, the likes of Jigawa, Zamfara, Kano, Katsina , the background of Social Protection Policy and the concept of caring for society’s most vulnerable .

In his key takeaways, Mr. Saheed said it was very important to know that there is not one unified definition of Social protection, adding that the different terms such as insurance, assistance, safety net, welfare etc relate to different types of programmes and activities, entailing a different focus and objectives and that generally, a move from social protection as social risk management towards rights based social protection for all.

While speaking on the topic, Making the case for Social Protection, the state team leader, Kaduna, Mr Tanko Langaya stated that Nigeria still faces major challenges  in poverty, vulnerability and inequality reduction, with a majority of its population living close to the poverty line thus being highly exposed to shocks and secondly, while social protection has the ability to address these challenges and protect vulnerable households from shocks.

“Typically, the social protection system in Nigeria has been highly fragmented, with limited coverage of poor and vulnerable households and limited financing,” he added.

The Meal Coordinator, Save the Children, Mr. Abdulwahab Abdulrasheed   who gave  a presentation on debunking myths and misconceptions  noted that common social protection myths can be debunked by referring to widely available evidence on existing  social protection programmes, mainly cash transfers coming from the African continent and beyond.

Other topics treated during the workshop includes the Poverty and Vulnerability in Nigeria, targeting, single register and enrolment, benefits and payments, monitoring and evaluation, Shock Responsive Social Protection,  Inclusive  Social Protection, Social Accountability, the National Social Protection Policy and Edo Social Protection Policies, Pensions and Health Insurance.

The Consultant, Save the Children, Dr.  Alonge presented the draft policy document made up of six chapters for discussion by the members of the technical working committee.