National Social Protection Forum calls for legal backing for social protection programmes in Nigeria

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National Social Protection Forum
calls for legal backing for
social protection programmes in Nigeria

By: Femi Mustapha

The National Social Protection Forum (NSPF)  has called for the establishment of a legislative framework to give legal backing to the implementation of the social protection programmes in Nigeria.

The Group stated this in a Communique issued after a National Social Protection Policy Review Consultation Meeting held in Lagos.

The Forum commended the Federal Government for the National Social Protection Policy (NSPP), saying,  the policy is relevant to the Nigerian people and the social protection needs of the country.

It also stated that the NSPP
having derived from the 1999 Constitution ,  is in alignment with the nation’s priorities. and needs legal backing

The Forum however noted that the policy does not include a clear institutional arrangement for social protection in Nigeria.

“The intended outcomes though minimal, cannot be measured in terms of achievement as the policy does not have a costed implementation strategy and performance framework in place to support this process.

“The non-availability of evaluation data makes it difficult to determine if the programmes have the desired impact and inform strategic direction at policy level.

“The Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were excluded in the target groups and a number of vulnerable and marginalized groups were lumped together as though they have similar needs and vulnerabilities.

As part of the policy measures, include, “Promote the adoption and implementation of a twin-track approach to ensure inclusion of PWDs in social protection programs”.

“The policy should provide a clear framework for sustainable financing.

” The policy should encourage the use of the social register in implementation of social protection programmes.

“There is a need for the establishment of a legislative framework to give legal backing to the implementation of the social protection programmes.

“Complimentary roles should be clearly defined for each of the stakeholders and institutions.

” There should also be a single monitoring framework i.e a unified M&E framework.

“The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) should be included as part of the international agreements in 1.4 (international agreement and social protection)

“Disability inclusion should be added in the overarching goal of this policy.” the Communique stated.

“.The age bracket of 25-64 should be differentiated into 25-40 and 41-64 for effective programme planning and implementation for the age groups.

“.It is key to always use appropriate terminologies when referring to the disability clusters. Where “children/adult/persons living with disabilities” and “physically challenged” appeared in the policy, it should be changed to children / adult / persons with disabilities.

“The policy guiding principles of citizenship and social inclusiveness should highlight the disability status. The reform measures of social protection in 2.1 should also include disability mainstreaming by highlighting a “twin-track” approach to be adopted in implementation of disability inclusive schemes.

“The policy should strengthen measures on people that will be affected by natural disasters, insecurity, conflict and emergency situations such as COVID-19, floods etc.

“.Policy objectives must recognize the intersections of disability, gender in its gender mainstreaming (2.1) and speak to each of these groups separately in order to ensure effective interventions.

The policy measure and objective 13 should be clearly defined to capture emerging issues such as civil unrest, human trafficking, disease outbreak, child soldiers, climate change.

“.Policy should include a communication plan to increase awareness on social protection programmes.

“.Social welfare and child protection should be captured as Social welfare and protection to make provisions for both children and women.

“Livelihood Enhancement & Employment category should include provision to support sustainable livelihood through skills training for orphans, street children, Almajiri and persons vulnerable to harmful traditional practice.

“Legislative category, legal framework that specifically protects intended beneficiaries including children “should also include women” through inheritance rights, birth registration, child care services and breast feeding.”

The Forum is a collective of civil society organization in social protection aimed at bringing about increased political will; improved public awareness, participation; and strengthened accountability for social protection in Nigeria.

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