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Kaduna introduces social protection plan for persons with disabilities

Kaduna introduces social protection plan for persons with disabilities
February 14
00:21 2021

The Kaduna government has announced plans to introduce a disability benefit programme, as part of its social protection policy implementation plan, to complement other initiatives currently implemented in the state.

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Saude Amina Atoyebi, the state focal person on the social investment programme, disclosed during a media briefing held over the weekend in Kaduna.

Atoyebi, who explained that the state executive council had passed the social protection policy in August 2020, noted that the agency was awaiting the approval of the implementation policy.

According to her, the state steering committee on social investments worked with experts from Save the Children International and United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) to fine-tune the protection policy, despite the numerous challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“The main goal of the policy is to ensure that residents of Kaduna state, particularly vulnerable groups, are afforded a life of dignity through programmes which are implemented in a fair and transparent manner,” she said.

“This policy is not one of those policies that we sat down as government officials and designed on our own, finalised and disseminated. This policy went through a robust engagement process which took a while and people were wondering why.

“We wanted to ensure that whatever we came up with, had the voice of the people in it. We started by having key informant interviews with different relevant MDAs to see where we were, where we were starting from, and then moved on to consultations across the three senatorial zones.

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“The final document is guided by certain principles: there is the principle of equity and resource relocation; the principle of universal basic needs — that is everybody is entitled to eat, to have a roof over their heads, and clothing to wear, that is the basic necessities of life. It is also guided by the principle of citizenship, and thankfully everyone who is a resident in Kaduna is a citizen of the state.

“It is also guided by the principle of human rights. Social protection is not a favour done by government to citizens, it is their right. It is gotten from a public pool of funds. We need people to know that this policy is hinged on that.”

Fielding questions from journalists, Muhammad Adam, a member of the steering committee, said realistic ways of financially sustaining the policy have been included in the implementation plan.

Similarly, Jessica Barthlomew, chairperson of the Kaduna social protection accountability coalition (KADSPAC), said the state is doing its best to bridge the gap between civil service organisations, the media and government in terms of information sharing.

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