Ondo State Government in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has presented to the Ondo State House of Assembly, a Social Protection Bill, that would ensure the provision and sustenance of social protection programmes in Ondo State.

This was made known by the Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, while welcoming to Ondo State participants of a 3-day study tour, embarked upon by 15 States of the Federation, tagged Accelerating Social Protection Study Tour .

“We have keyed into the Federal Government’s social investment programme (school feeding programme, conditional cash transfers and entrepreneurial schemes).

It is our fervent belief that the National Social Protection Policy (NSPP), when passed into law at the Federal level, and accepted by relevant stakeholders, will provide a framework for a mix of policies
and programmes on social protection which will, in turn, cater for individuals and households throughout their life cycles” he said.

“These well-reasoned policies will reduce poverty and socio-economic discontent. It also possesses the inherent cap agility to promote and enhance sustainable livelihood and citizens’ right to a life of
dignity”.

He said that the effect of all the initiatives at the Federal and State levels will be the provision of a gender-sensitive and age-appropriate framework which ensures a minimum social protection
platform for all Nigerian citizens ,adding that it provides a basic guarantee for accessing social services.

The Governor therefore acknowledged and commended the efforts of UNICEF,
Akure Field Office led by Mr.
Tejinder Singh Sandhu for the development of the document on Social
Protection, drafting of the Bill, through the constitution of Technical Work Group on Social Protection, as well as organizing and backstopping the study tour.

Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu also lauded UNICEF for been supportive without reservation and expressed profound gratitude to the UNICEF Family in Nigeria for a job well done.

He promised that Ondo State will continue to cooperate with the international body to ensure the realization of it’s goals for the State in particular and the country in general.

The Chief Servant Leader who charged participants to pay attention to the important event, assured them of warmth reception by the government and people of the State, noting that Nigeria community expects much from them.

In his remarks, UNICEF Chief of Field Office, Tejinder Singh Sandhu,said the purpose of the tour was to understudy various social protection programmes in Ondo State and showcase what the State Government has done in alleviating poverty,which he said could be replicated in various States.

In the same vein, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget Ondo State,Mr Chris Kolawole, said the government has done much in providing social protection services to the citizens of the State, ranging from free shuttle buses provided by the State to convey students to and from school.

The Permanent Secretary also added that the success recorded in reducing child and maternal deaths in the State through ‘Abiye’ programme and the mother and child hospital, where pregnant women are taking care of from conception to day of delivery free of charge.

Mr Kolawole noted that the various social protection programmes of the State Government was aimed at making life easy and better for the people of the State.

Participants for the study tour were drawn from Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Delta, Enugu and Kastina. Others are Kebbi, Lagos, Osun, Rivers, Sokoto and Zamfara State.