By Joan Nwagwu
The Federal Government said it was committed to ensure access to comprehensive social protection through programmes that would tackle poverty in the country.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Kachollom Daju, said this at a two- day Policy and Programmatic Dialogue workshop on Tuesday in Abuja.
The theme of the workshop is “Poverty and Vulnerability Profile in Nigeria” and it is organised by the Social Protection Development Partners in collaboration with the Nigerian government.
Daju was represented by Mrs Badooh Lyod, Assistant Director, Social Security and Cooperation Development Department in the ministry.
She said that Nigeria rightly acknowledged that eradicating poverty in all forms and dimensions remains the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.
“Government recognises the fact that Social Protection is a veritable tool mitigating the drivers and effects of poverty, as well as being essential for advancing sustainability and promoting inclusive growth.
“This is with particular regards to accelerating progress towards achieving the globally agreed 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs).
“Nigeria, through the ministry and other line Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are working towards the actualisation of access to comprehensive Social Protection.
“These are through programmes which tackle multiple dimensions of poverty and derivation, ” she said.
The permanent secretary said decent work, education, health care, social security, income security, are powerful tools in the battle against poverty and inequality.
Daju further said that in the absence of social protection for all, the most vulnerable are subjected to increased risks of sinking below the poverty line and remind trapped in poverty.
“There is, therefore, need for comprehensive plans and programmes to determine the extent of coverage, identify gaps, build on the acquired information, reduce the level of poverty and embrace commitment and maintaining human dignity,” she said.
Also, representative of UNICEF Nigeria Country Office, Cristian Munduate, said that as of 2022, 63 per cent of Nigeria population faces deprivation, a disturbing figure that includes 70 million children.
According to Munduate, the purpose of the workshop is to align our understanding of poverty and vulnerable, while seeking to expand our social register and establish a robust, inclusive, and responsive social protection systems.
“Our goal is a Nigeria where all citizens, particularly women, children and disabled, have access to strong social protection and are not living on the edge of poverty amid current realities.
“The meeting, hence, symbolises hope for a future where every Nigerian feels recognised and safeguarded.
“The essentially of a comprehensive register to reach those most in need can not be overstated,” she said
Also, Mr Ruben Alaba, Head, Cooperation, European Union to Nigeria, said that there was need to have a common understanding of poverty and its level of vulnerability in the country.
“There is no better time to have this workshop than now the new administration is planning to support the poor and vulnerable households with palliatives to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal.
“The European Union is committed to collaborating with the government of Nigeria towards addressing issues around poverty.
“Therefore, the question we need to critically look upon to address in this workshop is how we can have a robust single social registry that will be accepted by all and will in turn inform policy,” he said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Vivian Ihechu