Governor Mallam Nasir Elrufai and his Deputy, Dr Hadiza Balarabe during the launching.

From Aminu Dalhatu (Kaduna)

Kaduna State Government has launched the State Social Protection Policy to improve the lives of poor and vulnerable.

Governor, Malam Nasiru Elrufai while launching the policy at Government house, Kaduna said it was formerly approved by the State Executive Council in the second half of last year.

He said the policy was part of his administration commitment to ensure the life of residents were in the basis of right not charity.

Malam Nasiru Elrufai pointed out that, to ensure Social protection was pursued in an inclusive and sustainable manner, the policy would be supported by a law to force the government deliver on its promise.

According to him, soon government would establish Social Protection Agency to ensure social protection programmes were delivered in an integrated and sustainable manner for optimum resource utilisation and achieve high in fact.

Malam Nasiru Elrufai further stated that, in 2018, the State had launched Women Empowerment Fund which commenced with the disbursement of 200 million naira to women entrepreneurs across the state as Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

He stressed that, Over seven thousand women benefited from the scheme and since begun repayment of their loans.

“The feasibility study we conducted in 2020 revealed that, 64 percent of Kaduna State residents do not have BANK ACCOUNT this is unacceptable and over whelming majority – 89 percent of those without BANK ACCOUNT are unfortunately female this is again totally unacceptable” Malam Nasiru explained.

The Governor commended the active support of Save the Children International through their Child Grand Development Programme in strengthening social protection in the state and other donor partners.

“Nigeria is going through trying times, we have the largest number of poor people of any country in the World, five percent of those poor people probably are living in Kaduna State”

The Governor, however called on his counterpart and political elites to always use the social register on a programmes design targeting poor and vulnerable and drop slot mentality.

“Yet whenever a programme is designed to help the poor and vulnerable, we resort to a slot mentality in which important people are allocated slots instead of targeting those poor and vulnerable that deserve it, this is unfortunate”

“We must move away from slot mentality and use our social register to offer targeted support to those that truly needed” he added

Speaking, the National Program Manager, Child Development Grant Program-CDGP of Save the Children, Mr Ajumobi Kayode said social protection was not only a powerful tool to combat poverty, but widely recognized as an important policy instrument to address economic, social and political exclusion and vulnerability.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to be associated with this epoch-making event, made possible through the generous support of the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), formerly DFID, via the CDGP-strengthening social protection systems programme” he stressed.

Mr Ajumobi Kayode stated that, the launched of the policy was a clear demonstration of Kaduna State government’s political will and commitment to provide social protection for all its citizens- especially its most vulnerable, poor guyand socially excluded ones.

Similarly, the Chief field of UNICEF office Kaduna, Dr Adam Zakari reaffirmed UNICEF’s continue support to deliver for an inclusive social protection and to also contribute for the development of Children in Kaduna State.

Deputy Governor of Kaduna, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, Some members of the state Executive Councils, Development partners, Civil Society organizations among others attended the event.