On Thursday, the Oyo State Government and UNICEF reached an agreement to combat poverty by providing cash transfers to the most vulnerable and impoverished members of society.
The Social Protection Policy initiative, according to Prof. Musbau Adetunji Babatunde, Commissioner for Economic and Budget Planning, will reduce severe poverty and promote sustainable economic growth in Oyo State.
According to him, the Oyo State Social Protection Policy has to be approved due to the crucial role social protection plays in eradicating poverty and assisting the weak.
After a two-day Oyo State Social Protection Policy Validation event that was organized by the Oyo State Ministry of Economic and Budget Planning in conjunction with UNICEF and conducted in Ibadan, Babatunde made this statement.
One of the guiding principles of the Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration, according to Prof. Musbau Adetunji Babatunde, is to combat poverty and improve life for Oyo State people.
The Commissioner said “social protection is a set of interventions whose objective is to reduce social and economic risk and vulnerability, and alleviate extreme poverty and deprivation hence the preparation of draft policy to make life meaningful for the vulnerable among the citizenry”.
“This programme is designed to eliminate poverty and vulnerability by promoting efficient labour markets, diminishing people‘s exposure to risks, and enhancing their capacity to manage economic and social risks such as unemployment, exclusion, sickness, child rights, people living with disability and old age.”
He stressed further that, “Social Protection Policy programmes will alleviate extreme poverty and enhance sustainable economic growth, through cash transfer for the vulnerable and the extremely poor, home grown school feeding programme, job creation & youth empowerment, financial inclusion & other empowerment interventions programmes and projects.”
He urged committee members to embody the spirit of inter-agency cooperation necessary in addressing issues related to poverty and vulnerability in the State on behalf of the Oyo State Government.
Reacting, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Economic and Budget Planning, Tpl. Ademola Ajibola, said the current administration in Oyo State should be praised for working with development agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society organizations (CSOs), and other illustrious private organizations to improve the quality of life for the populace. .
He expressed gratitude to UNICEF for helping the State and assured them that they would continue to do so in order to ensure the policy’s effective and efficient implementation in the State. He was represented by Mr. Ademola Adediran.
Meanwhile, representative of UNICEF in Oyo State, Mrs. Hope Oduma commended Engr. Seyi Makinde’s administration for its willingness and commitment to ensure the realisation of the social protection policy.
She added that UNICEF is proud to collaborate with the Oyo State government, in realizing goals of solving poverty and vulnerability issues.
The event was witnessed by top government functionaries including, the Oyo State Statistician-General, Mr. Teslim Adejuwon; SSA on Budget, Kehinde Ogunsaya; SA Legal to the Governor, Ms. Ifedolapo Ologuro among others.