September 27, 2023

Poverty Is One Of Nigeria’s Most Pressing Challenges, Says ANEEJ Executive Director, Ugolor

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…urges Federal, State Govts to increase investments in social investment programmes

By Simeon OSAJIE, pub-3120625432113532, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

African Network For Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) has described the fight against poverty as one of Nigeria’s most pressing challenges, particularly in regions where a substantial portion of the population is living in abject poverty.

The Executive Director of ANEEJ, Rev. David Ugolor, made this observations while addressing journalists on the progress so far made in the implementation of the Enhancing Social Protection Programme in Nigeria (ESPPIN) project by ANEEJ and the overall poverty situation in Nigeria.

According to him, throughout the ESPPIN journey, challenges were met with unwavering resolve.

“Insecurity, bureaucracy, and conflicting priorities posed obstacles, but our determination to effect change remained.

“The ESPPIN project unveiled invaluable lessons, particularly in the realm of stakeholder engagement.

“We learned that repeated advocacy, collaboration with the government, and the utilization of existing platforms are vital strategies that accelerate progress.

“The ESPPIN project has demonstrated that when civil society organizations and government join hands, positive change is not only possible but sustainable. As we look ahead, we are dedicated to building on these
achievements, fostering collaboration, and creating a brighter future for those who need it most.

“While we reflect on the project’s successes, it is imperative that concerted efforts are made to address the existing gaps in social protection within the country. Considering this, we urge the relevant stakeholders to take the following steps:

“Adoption of Social Protection Policies at State Level: We implore the governments of Delta, Bayelsa,
and other states lacking comprehensive social protection policies to expedite the creation and implementation of such policies without delays.

“Enactment of Social Protection Laws at the State Level: To enhance the effectiveness of social protection initiatives, we urge the State Houses of Assembly in states such as Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, and Edo, among others, to initiate the process of enacting Social Protection laws.

“Swift action in this regard will facilitate the states’ contributions to eradicating poverty and promoting social justice, particularly with the problems that have come with the recent removal of subsidy on petrol”.

Ugolor therefore called on the Federal and State Governments to significantly increase their investments in social investment programmes across the nation.

“By bolstering these programmes, according to the ANEEJ, we can create opportunities for millions of Nigerians to escape multidimensional poverty, fostering a more prosperous and equitable society.

Development Partners Support for Social Protection Programmes. We wish to call on the donor community, the Africa Development Bank, the World Bank and the Private sector to make bold efforts in supporting Social Protection Programmes at both the National, sub-national and local levels in the
country to forestall human tragedy in Nigeria.

“Moving forward, ANEEJ will continue to advocate, monitor, and collaborate with all development partners to ensure that the gains achieved remain secure and impactful.

“We stand poised to continue fostering legislative advocacy, amplifying the voices of vulnerable citizens, and intensifying investment in social programmes, in the hope that together with other stakeholders, we can accelerate the journey towards a future free from

“| want to specially appreciate Bread for the World (Germany) and the FCDO for providing the resources for AiNEEJ and her partners to implement the Enhancing Social Protection Programme iin Nigeria (ESPPIN) project” he declared.

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