Mrs Maryam Uwais, the Special Advisor to the President, Social Protection, says about sixty-seven per cent of Nigerian population live below poverty line.
Uwais said this during a social protection Practitioners and Academics Dialogue on Thursday in Abuja.
According to her, some of the social issues that plaque Nigeria are high poverty and high unemployment rates. She added that the issues also include increased insecurity, gender inequality and poor literacy rates, among others.
She added that social protection was a response and a key strategy towards reducing the sixty-seven per cent poverty rate and socio-economic vulnerabilities in the population as well as to encourage G2p payments digitalisation and financial inclusion.
FG NSIP programmes
Uwais also says that the Federal Government designs a four-point National Social Investment Programme (N-SIP), including Conditional Cash Transfer Programme (CCT). “This involves the direct transfer of N5,000 that targets poor and vulnerable households.
“The Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) assist vulnerable families, feed their classes, primary 1-3 school children one nutritious meal a day and provides an incentive to send them to school which is targeted to feed 5.5 million children.
“The N-Power Programme designs to put 500,000 young Nigerian graduates on employment and empower or train 100,000 of non-graduates with necessary tools to create, develop and build projects that will change our communities, economy and nation.
“There is also Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP), which targets financial inclusion and empowerment loans programme to deliver maximum impact to the economically under- represented groups that targets about 1.6 million beneficiaries,’’ said the presidential aide.
Mrs Uwais said that for National Social Programme to move forward the cooperation of stakeholders was key in actualising it in terms of knowledge, resources and skills for transformative undertaking.
She therefore called on stakeholders to partner with the initiative to overcome staggering six-seven per cent poverty rate. Saying that the complex issues facing Nigeria need comprehensive solutions by collective efforts to invest in the strongest and most promising sector.
Wold Bank lead specialist
Mr Folunsho Okunmadewa, the Lead Specialist World Bank, noted that the dialogue was important. Saying that they are very important stakeholders in the actualisation of the social protection agenda.
He says that the social protection agenda is growing big due to government concern, participation of private sector, civil sector and researchers.
“Through the academia research would be evident and we are talking of a dynamic issue that change on a daily basis.
“Those who are on the state level and in operations unit are constantly aware of changing knowledge,’’ he said.
The lead specialist added that the academia research on a daily basis and with that they can help with the programme and collaborate in the state and national level.
He added that analysis of the existing data is necessary and give information that will help in the project which would bring about a mutual benefit. He also said that involving the academics was a huge step in bridging the gap.
David Adejo and others
Mr David Adejo, the National Co-ordinator, Youth and Employment and Social Support Operation (YESSO), also said that the involvement of academicians in the social protection agenda would boost the programme.
He noted that academicians have the tools to collect data and also work for the existence of more evidence action.
Adejo also says that the sixty-seven per cent of the population which are becoming more vulnerable and need the interventions which are ongoing.
The CDD Coordinator, Mr Abdul Kareem, says the academia has a lot of research and community services which is good for data collection.
“We have so many primary health centres at the community level and with the help of the academics we can achieve some of the agendas because they can help us spread the news.
“Food protection agenda is a very positive development, if academia gives us support and accessibility, our micro projects will increase.
“We can’t go to a community and build a borehole when their need is not borehole. But with the help of the academia we will be able to know the problem of each community through data processing,” he said.
Dr Temitope Sinkaye, the National Programme Coordinator, says the social protection intervention is in 21 states and covers about 300 households.
She noted that the target was 1 million households and therefore called on the state governors to set up offices to enable them discharge their duties effectively.