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National Economic Council Set to Ratify National Social Protection Policy on Thursday

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Nigerians are inching closer to having a robust National Social Protection Policy (NSPP) as the National Economic Council (NEC) meets on Thursday to ratify the policy document.
After its ratification by the NEC under the chair of Vice-president Yemi Osinbanjo, the NSPP will be presented to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for final approval, prelude to its implementation by the Federal Government.
The NSPP is designed to provide a veritable platform for mainstreaming social protection-related issues into the National Development Plan (NDP).
The Thursday NEC meeting where the ratification would happen was excitedly mentioned on Monday at the opening of a five-day review meeting of the draft implementation plan, monitoring and evaluation framework for the revised NSPP holding at the Sheraton Hotel in Lagos.
The Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (the planning arm) organized the review meeting in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP).
Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, in a goodwill message to the review meeting, urged the Technical Working Group and other relevant stakeholders to work towards ensuring a robust NSPP and its full implementatio by all relevant stakeholders.
Represented by a Special Assistant, Prince Agba urged participants at the review meeting to keep their eyes on the ball, inspire robust deliberations towards coming up with suggestions and ideas about making the policy to be robust both in contents, its implementation plan and monitoring and evaluation framework.
In her opening remarks at the event, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Mrs Olusola Idowu, represented by the Director of Social Development, Dr Sanjo Faniran, said that it was “our resolve as a country to ensure consistency with the United Nations Decade of Action for achieving SDGs.”
Stating that the NSPP was awaiting approval by the relevant government authorities, she said that the draft implementation plan and monitoring and evaluation framework was to guide effective implementation of the Policy.
“The purpose of the gathering is to review and further enrich the draft implementation plan and monitoring and evaluation framework of the National Protection Policy to address the implementation gaps identified during the implementation of the 2017-2020 National Policy.
“it is envisaged that the implementation plan and monitoring and evaluation framework would provide guide for the effective implementation of the Policy.  In view of the importance of this meeting, I wish to appeal to you all to critically examine the draft framework before you enhance its quality,” she said.
She expressed appreciation to the United Nations agencies, particularly the World Food Programme (WFP) and other Development Partners for their immense support during the review of the NSPP and the preparation of the draft Implementation Plan and the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.
“I also wish to thank all relevant stakeholders and the Technical Working Group members for their commitment throughout the review process of the NSPP and their support during the development of the draft implementation plan and the monitoring and evaluation framework,” she stated.
According to her: “The Federal Government is committed to a sustained social investment within the national development framework, address the challenges arising from widespread poverty, insecurity, and numerous social risks that increase vulnerability.”
In a welcome statement by the Director of Social Development Department in the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Sanjo Faniran, presented on his behalf by Head of Social Sector in the Ministry, Mrs Kike Ogunbadejo, he said the meeting would provide an opportunity for all relevant stakeholders and Development Partners to critically examine the draft implementation plan, monitoring and evaluation framework with roles and responsibilities for effective implementation of the revised NSPP.
“Let me take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to the Honourable Ministers, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Permanent Secretary, Budget and National Planning for their commitments in the validation of the reviewed NSPP and the articulation of the draft implementation, monitoring and evaluation framework.
“The revised NSPP can only be more effective and efficient when there is an implementation plan, monitoring and evaluation framework, which will enhance a robust feedback mechanism-an implementation plan, which will combine strategies, processes and actions with the aim of accomplishing predetermined goals and objectives.
“It will also spell out interventions with responsibilities and targets for the relevant MDAs while monitoring and evaluation will serve as a continuous assessment of interventions implemented, detailing planned deliverables as well as address challenges for enhanced implementation,” he said.
He expressed the appreciation of the Nigerian Government to the four United Nations agencies (namely UNICEF, ILO, WFP and UNDP), Save the Children International, the World Bank and other stakeholders for their support during the review of the NSPP.
“Let me also applaud the World Bank Food Programme (WFP) for engaging the Consultant that produced the draft Implementation Plan and Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for the revised NSPP that we are to review,” he added.

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