By Dennis Agbo
The Executive Secretary of Enugu state Economic Planning Commission, ESEPC, Mr Dan Onyishi has disclosed that the state is the present leader in the implementation of Social Protection Practices in Nigeria.
Social Protection consists of Policies and programmes designed to reduce poverty and vulnerability by promoting an efficient labour market, diminishing peoples exposure to risks and enhancing their capacity to manage economic and social risks.
Onyishi said that the aggregation of what the Enugu state has been doing were all geared towards development interventions that give power and protection to the poor and vulnerable people in the society.
He made the disclosure during the launch of the Enugu state Social Protection Policy supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, on Wednesday.
Onyishi said that UNICEF was able to track Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s performance in many sectors and understood that his programmes were geared towards protecting and alleviating the poor persons in the state.
He gave instances of such state government’s interventions to include rural development programmes, where the poor mostly reside, and where basic infrastructure such as roads and hospitals have been built for economic and social empowerment.
“The UNICEF observed all these and saw Enugu state as living in the best practice of social protection and decided to support the state government to help the state Governor develop the policy document,” Onyishi said.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who was represented at the function by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Prof Simon Ortuanya, said that the social protection policy was a goodbye wave to poverty.
“It is actually a kind of insurance for those that are helpless. It is part of the determination by the administration to ensure that no child is left behind; to ensure that you can have treatment.
“It’s a determination to ensure school enrollment, to ensure that education is affordable, to protect the elderly and to ensure that we take care of the less privileged members of our society,” Ortuanya said.
Unicef Social Manager in Enugu field Office, Muhammed Okorie said that the state government has been proactive in ensuring that poverty was tackled in the state.
He noted that the Enugu state government was the first to key into the programme at its inception, adding that it is all aimed at ensuring the dignity of the poor.