The Anambra State government has disclosed its intention to launch the State Social Protection Policy (ASSPP), to provide a mix of policies and programmes designed to reduce poverty and promote livelihood of its citizens.
Mrs. Chiamaka Nnake, Commissioner of Budget and Economic Planning, disclosed this at a one-day stakeholders validation of the draft Anambra State Social Protection Policy Document, held in Awka, on Thursday.
She said the Policy is part of Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s agenda to work and substantially reduce poverty among Ndi-Anambra and see how the lessons from implementing the government’s social protection programmes can be applied to further improve the lives of the poor and vulnerable in the state.
Mrs. Nnake said “The policy was copy from the Federal Government Social Protection Policies, which focused on “Evidence and Learning in Improving Social Protection in Nigeria”, to cater for the vulnerable citizens of the country and also aimed at addressing the challenges of human development as it aims to provide a mix of policies and programs designed for individuals and households to reduce poverty and socio-economic shocks, promote and enhance livelihood and life of dignity among Nigerians.
According to her, the implementation of the Federal Government poverty alleviation initiatives programmes has made Nigerians, particularly the poor and vulnerable, feel directly the impact of governance across the country.
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She explained that the objective of the validation roundtable is to deepen stakeholders’ awareness and understanding of the benefits of continuing investments in social protection-related programs in Anambra state.
“It will also provide the opportunity for relevant stakeholders in the state to review the implementation of various social protection programmes in line with the Anambra vision 2070.
She added that the Policy will be domiciled in the State Ministry of Budget and Economy Planning and it will be chaired by the State Deputy Governor, Dr. Onyekachukwu if fully implemented by Governor Soludo.
She noted that Persons with disabilities, widows, orphans, out-of-school children, abusive children, flood victims, victims of fire outbreaks, and other poor and vulnerable people, especially, at rural areas are the major beneficiaries of the Policy in the state.
Speaking also at the event, the Deputy Executive Director of Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Leo Atakpu, called on the National Assembly to expedite action in the passage of the harmonized Social Protection Bill to guarantee institutionalization of social protection programmes of the Federal Government.
“The State Houses of Assembly in Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta Edo, and other states without Social Protection Laws to commence the process of enactment of Social Protection Laws without delays to enable their contributions to poverty eradication in the country.
“The Federal and State Governments should increase their investments in social investment programmes across the country to help pull Nigerians in their millions out of multidimensional poverty, Atakpu added.
The drafting exercise co-moderated by the Chairman, Anambra State Society Network, Prince Chris Azor, and Adviser to governor Soludo, on Social Policies Matters, Ms. Christabel Idehen, has in attendance, representatives from Civil Society Organisations, Media, NGOs, Persons with disabilities, and other head of State Government Agencies that brainstorm on the process that will eventually produce the draft for the full implementation of the Social Protection Policy in the State.