By Ahmed Ubandoma
The National Social Protection Forum (NSPF), has called for closer collaboration with the National Social Safety-Net Coordinating Office (NASSCO), to enhance coordination in the implementation of the National Social Safety Net programme.
Dr Taiwo Benson, the National Coordinator of the group stated this during a courtesy visit to the National Coordinator of NASSCO, on Thursday in Abuja.
The engagement was facilitated by Save the Children International (SCI), to canvass support for implementation and institutionalisation of Social Protection Cross-Learning Summit (SPECS) as Bi-Annual Event.
Benson said the group had undertaken several media advocacy on the social register.
”We have been engaged in several media advocacy on the National Social Register (NSR) having been involved in independently monitoring the development of the NSR.
”Cash transfer programme as Third-Party Monitors (TPM) with support from the World Bank and Save the Children.
“NSPF is a coalition of Social Protection Civil Society Organisations and Partners in Nigeria comprising over 140 organisations working on social protection in all the states of the federation and the FCT.
“The forum was established in 2029 and its primary objective is to engage in proactive engagements with all actors involved in poverty reduction in Nigeria.
”Worthy of mention is the national dialogue on the poverty situation in Nigeria as well as the launch of the Social Protection to End Poverty campaign” he said.
He said that most of the successes recorded by the forum were made possible through collaboration with the SCI and support from Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office of the UK Aid as critical partners.
The SCI Programme Manager, Dalila Nkhoma, said the organisation was geared towards expanding its social protection to ensure inclusive development.
Nkhoma said the project was being implemented with support from Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO).
According to her, the SCI is focusing on strengthening advocacy and capacity to achieve a durable system of social protection services.
”So, through the advocacy component of our project, we are working with civil society organisations as partners to promote citizens’ engagement, and ensure social accountability in the design and implementation of social protection in Nigeria,” she said.
While emphasising the importance of citizens’ engagement in social protection through civil society partnership, Nkhoma said involvement of civil society organisations would bring about social accountability in governance.
She urged the NASSCO to join forces to ensure institutionalisation of the Social Protection Cross-Learning Summit as an annual event where stakeholders would converge to brainstorm for better understanding.
”The summit will provide a platform for other partners to come together, exchange ideas, understand the roles and responsibilities and to know how to implement social protection policy.
”As well as to define and understand the governance structure and coordination to bring about policy coherence and policy coordination”.
Response, the National Coordinator, NASSCO, Mr AbdulAziz Danladi, said that President Bola Tinubu’s administration considered civil society organisations as partners in the Nigerian project.
He reiterated the federal government’s commitment to reduce poverty through the “Renewed Hope Agenda”.
”So, Social Protection is an important instrument in reducing poverty and we are going to work together with civil society organizations and other partners to ensure that poverty is eliminated before the end of the administration,” he said.
He stressed the need for stakeholders to support efforts towards the actualisation of the Social Protection Cross-Learning Summit.
He further assured deepened collaboration with relevant stakeholders to fast track effective coordination of all Social-Net Programme in the country. (NAN)
Edited by Rabiu Sani-Ali