…it’s a good development, but – CSOs
Sola Ojo, Kaduna
The Kaduna State Government has earmarked the 1% of its internally generated revenue (IGR) for social protection programme with an allocation of N476,579,701.01 in it’s 2021 proposed budget for the first time.
The money is domiciled under the Ministry of Human Services and Social Development (MHSSD) expected to coordinate social protection programmes which are programmes designed to reduce shocks among poor and vulnerable citizens in the State.
Reacting to this development, Lead, Coalition of Association for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment and Development (CALPED) in Kaduna and Assistant Secretary, Kaduna Social Protection Accountability Coalition (KADSPAC), Yusuf Goje, commended the State government for listening to the collective voice of its citizens by developing a policy document on social protection and now move ahead to create a budget line in that regard.
“We commend the government for concentrating these funds into the Ministry of Human Services Social Development unlike when we have the funds spread across the MDAs.
“For it to appear in the budget show some levels of transparency which means that it will be easier for us to track these funds as civil society.
“What we want to see is that this is not only in the paper but translate to improvement in the living standards of poor and vulnerable citizens in the State.
“As citizens, it is left for us to track and ensure the funds are utilised for the purpose which they are allocated because we must take ownership of the budget itself both in terms of formulation and implementation”, Goje said.
Speaking to Daily Sun via a telephone call on Monday, Commissioner, HSSD, Hajiya Hafsat Baba said, with the provision in budgeted IGR for 2021, a lot of social issues could be comfortably addressed.
Hafsat further said that her ministry would start following the money on time to ensure early release and cash backing.
To her, this was something that has never be done before and it showed the concern of the administration of Governor Nasir El-Rufai about social issues and how they could be addressed.
She said, “there are social issues we need to focus on most especially, with the decision of this administration in putting people first.
“Don’t forget also that there are a lot of issues concerning this social welfare and any government that invest in its people is investing in the future because you can have infrastructures but the social aspect of it is equally important.
“For example, we never had a budget line for Vagina Vesico Fistula (VVF). But, this present administration created a budget line, money was released and intervention also took place some weeks ago with renovation and upgrading of the VVF ward including the skill centre and quarterly food supply to enable the benefitting women to stay in the hospital for a period of six weeks of their rehabilitation.
“In this 2021 budget, there is also a provision of a budget line for assault referer centres. This COVID-19 has not been friendly to us the world over and I believe this administration is really trying to address the issue of social welfare of the people of Kaduna State”, she added.