Wednesday, 21 December 2016

ActionAid collaborates with Civil Society Network on Social Protection to bridge the gap between the haves and have not in Nigeria.

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We live in a country where the poor are getting poorer and the rich getting richer. A country that have experienced economy growth since the inception of civil rule in 1999 yet, no commensurate improvement on the living standard of the masses. As a matter of fact, poverty has equally grown exponentially. 

To help in assuaging this high poverty level in Nigeria, the Federal Government has launched a N500 billion social investment programme. With the present state of the economy and its effect on the masses, the Civil Society Network on Social Protection acknowledge and applaud the government on this laudable initiative as a needed tool in ameliorating the hardship being experienced by the poor and socially disadvantaged in the country.

Launched on the 7th of September 2016 at the National University Commission Abuja, The Civil Society Network on Social Protection is a network of over 300 NGOs and other civil society agencies interested in monitoring the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programme for effective implementation, accountability and relevance. “We are not part of the design or implementation of the federal government social investment programme. Our interest is to monitor on behalf of the people of Nigeria. We are keen on ensuring that the programme is implemented smoothly and achieves the purpose for which it was set up” Dr. Otive Igbuzor, a member of the steering committee said.

Speaking at a Press Conference with notable media houses and bloggers, ActionAid Country Director, Mrs. Atuluku Ojobo said the ActionAid is collaborating with the Civil Society Network on Social Protection and other stake holders to bring an end to the wide divide between the haves and have not of the society. We need to take our complains to ears that can make a difference.

In line with this, the Civil Society Network will be monitoring the implementation of the various social investment programme of the federal government with special focus on the N500 billion social protection programme which includes: Free School Feeding, Employment of 500,000 graduates, Conditional Cash Transfer, The Enterprise Promotion Programme and others.

The Civil Society Network on Social Protection hereby call on the Federal Government and the Nigeria Social Investment Office to tap into existing and tested channels of CSO and citizen platforms and other agencies of civil society to disseminate information on the programme to the citizens to ensure equitable access by all.

We as civil society actors hereby commit ourselves to monitor and mobilize Nigerians to ensure commitment to the implementation of the current social investment programme.

Meanwhile Nigeria Union of Teachers and other educational bodies are protesting the employment of graduates with no training in education as teachers in the 500,000 government employment scheme. The Principal Assistant Secretary of NUT Mrs.Kareem Adebukola laments that the period of six months training designated for the employed graduates is insufficient. The federal government should retrace their steps in this regard and give the teaching jobs to qualified teachers who are unemployed. A refusal to act in this regard will cause massive drop in the quality of education in Nigeria, she said.

ActionAid Country Director, Mrs. Atuluku Ojobo

Members Steering Board for Civil Society Network on Social Protection at a press conference held on Tuesday, 20th December, 2016.

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