By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.
A team of Researchers at the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Ibadan, on Tuesday gave reasons for the failure of various Social Protection Programmes (SPP) in Nigeria.
Delivering the July edition of NISER monthly lecture titled “Evaluation of Social Protection Programmes in Nigeria,” leader of the team, Dr Hakeem Tijani blamed the failure of programmes such as OFN, Green Revolution, SAP, DFRRI, You win, Sure-P and skills acquisition programmes on wrong target of beneficiaries.
Dr Tijani declared that most of the programmes were wonderfully prepared but failed to make substantial impact on targeted beneficiaries due to lack of awareness about most of the programmes, poor budgetary allocation and poor implementation thereby making it impossible for Nigerians to feel the impacts.
“SPP in Nigeria are yet to make substantial impact on the targeted beneficiaries because of problems such as inadequate coverage, disconnection between the programmes and the poverty reduction,”he said.
Dr Tijani added that the “under five-children” suffers from inadequate coverage, while programmes on women of child bearing age are inadequate to reduce poverty and sickness among women with those on youths yet to address their restiveness and the elderly are really not benefiting from SPP.
To make SPP result oriented, Dr Tijani tasked governments at all levels in the country to increase coverage of all SPP by increasing its funding as well as taxing wealthy individuals to assist the common people on the streets to make the country better for all.
He also advocated “clear delineation of roles and responsibilities of actors, scaling up the scope of SPP reach for the under-five children-wider coverage/rural areas, creation of massive employment for the teeming youths, making health care free for women of child bearing age and medication to be free in the hospitals. Create a register and fund for the elderly, payable every month by the state through local government offices and establish commodity collection centers at every local government for the elderly to collect basic needs”.
Speaking, Chairman at the lecture and Director-General, Office of the Economic Development and Partnership in Osun State, Dr. Charles Akinola praised the President Muhammadu Buhari administration for its bold and practical steps to introduce social protection policies that would impact on the masses.
“It is a paradox that we have a rich country but we have poor people. It is all about inclusion. It is all about inequality. SPP is actually a response to addressing poverty especially that which comes in ways in which inequality in wealth distribution is addressed.
There has been different attempt to come up with a social protection policy in the past. We do have a draft, social protection policy, that should be nearing the last stages, and I hope this administration will make sure that we do not just stop with having a draft, especially given the fact that this regime, far more than any before it, has given a very good focus to social protection”.
By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.