Social protection programmes critical to meeting SDGs

Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola (2nd right), Chief, Field Services/Coordination (UNICEF), Dr. Annefrida Kisesa Mkusa (left), Chief of Field Office, Akure (UNICEF), Dr. Tejinder Singh Sandhu (2nd left), and Director General, Office of Economic Development and Partnerships and Coordinator, Osun Rural Entreprise and Agriculture Programme, Dr Charles Akinola (right), at the opening plenary of the State of Osun Social Protection Study Tour by United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) at the weekend

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget has trained 77 personnel drawn from 16 states of the federation on Social Protection (SP) programmes.

The UNICEF Chief of Field Officer, Dr. Annefrida Kisesa, said the grassroots could be easily reached through social protection programmes, thereby bettering their lives.

She said the trainees who form the Technical Working Groups in their states, included top government functionaries from the 16 states. The participants critique the school bus shuttle, micro credit schemes, family court, Agbebiye and Abiye Safe Motherhood initiatives in Ondo State; and the O-YES, O-REAP and the O-MEAL SP initiative, which pioneered school pupils free meals in the country.

The Ondo State UNICEF Chief of Field Officer, Mr. Tejinder Sandhu, acknowledged that conscientious implementation of SP programmes would have positive and tremendous bearing on the actualization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in 2030.

He tasked the Federal Government on the ratification of National Social protection Programme (NSPP), warning that lack of NSPP might scuttle the 17 SDG goals, which are intertwined with the 16 policy measures of the former.

Ondo State Governor and his Osun counterpart, Mr. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and Mr. Rauf Aregbesola praised UNICEF for its commitment on NSPP advocacy, stressing that social protection in any nation is so important to combat poverty, vulnerability and exclusion. 

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