The Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly has been called upon to translate the social protection policy in the state into law. The call was made by Rev. David Ugolor, the Executive Director, Africa Network for Economic and Environmental Justice, ANEEJ, during a press conference on the Enhancing Social Protection Programmes in Nigeria Project (ESPPIN) in Benin City.
According to ANEEJ, the House of Assembly should be pro-active and ensure that the social protection policy is translated into law because it will impact on the wellbeing of the people in the various constituencies.
While commending the Governor Obaseki-led administration for the willingness to put a social protection law in place in the state, the ANEEJ boss frowned at the neighboring Delta State Government for not making any attempt to put in place a policy in the area of social protection.
” Edo has social protection policy but our strategy is to reach out to the House of Assembly to ensure it becomes a law. The state government is willing to put something in place and we are happy with that,” he noted.
He disclosed that the National Social Investment Programme, often lauded as one of Africa’s largest social protection programmes, is a beacon of hope for millions and with an annual allocation exceeding $1billion, this programme transcends mere budgetary figures, it symbolizes our shared commitment to uplifting the less fortunate and creating a stronger, more equitable society.
“To address the increasing poverty level in Nigeria, the Federal Government designed several interventions such as the National Social Investment Programme, an ambitious effort aimed at improving the lives of the most vulnerable citizens.
“The fight against poverty remains one of our society’s most pressing challenges, particularly in regions where a substantial portion of the population is living in poverty, Nigeria with its 213.4 million strong population faces this stark reality.
“Approximately 63 percent (!33 million people ) live in multidimensional poverty, experiencing a range of deprivations that underscores the urgency of robust interventions,
“Certainly the sudden removal of fuel subsidy only increases these numbers exponentially as the cost of living is at a very worrisome level, one of the worst since Nigeria gained independence in !960,” he added.