By Philip Yatai
SCI’s Social Protection and Inclusion Coordinator in the state, Mrs Eunice Victor who stated this during a meeting in Kaduna on Thursday, said that the move was to hold government to account on social protection.
She explained that the meeting was part of series of meetings to be held with a view to establishing a coalition on social protection to be made up of the media and CSOs.
“The aim of this event is to serve as a planning meeting where ideas will be pooled and map out relevant stakeholders in the CSO and media space that will form a coalition.
“The coalition will serve as pressure group in amplifying the voice of citizens for an accountable and responsive government on social protection issues,“ she said.
Victor explained that Child Development Grant Programme (CDGP) phase I, implemented in Zamfara and Jigawa states demonstrated how to achieve impact on nutritional status and long-term future potential of children.
The coordinator said that following the successes of the phase I, the CDGP Phase II had been extended to include Kaduna and Kano states, with focus on strengthening social protection systems.
According to her, the system and capacity strengthening of federal and states institution will contribute to greater coverage of inclusive and accountable social protection in the country.
“The ultimate aim is to ensure the existence of an enabling environment, strong systems and adequate capacity for the scale up of social protection in the country.
“This will contribute to poverty reduction efforts and simultaneously improve the ability, opportunity and dignity of the poor and vulnerable.
“But all this will not be possible without the media and CSOs to advocate and hold government to account,“ she said.
Mr Farouk Abdulkadir, SCI Advocacy and Communication Coordinator, said that the coalition, when established, would among other things sensitize and support the set up of policy framework for the implementation of social protection programmes.
“They will also generate and communicate evidence in form of advocacy messages or scorecards to raise awareness and action on social protection.
“They will equally be engaging relevant ministries, departments and agencies to detect and provide support for smooth implementation of social protection programmes in the state,“he said.