By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – A Non-Governmental Organization, Save the Children International, has urged media organisations to increase reportage of social protection programmes in Kaduna state.
Field Manager in the state, Mr Tanko Langaya made the call at the opening of a two-day Media Round Table to improve visibility of social protection interventions in Zaria on Tuesday, August 18, 2020.
He said the meeting was organised in partnership with Kaduna Social Protection Accountability Coalition and the Office of the Focal Person, Social Investment Programme, Kaduna State.
Langaya explained that the meeting was organised under the DFID-Funded Child Development Grant Programme II, to enlist the support of media partners to increase visibility of social protection.
The Field Manager, represented by the Advocacy and Communication Coordinator, Mr Farouk Abdulkadir, said the media was key to the success of social protection investment in the state.
He observed that there was currently low level of media engagement and reportage of social protection issues in the state, stressing the need to strengthen partnership with the media.
According to him, the media have a critical role to play in ensuring transparency and accountability in the formulation and implementation of social protection interventions in the state.
“From investigative journalism to reporting about social investment reforms, the media has been identified as one of the strongest advocacy platforms to push the government to respond to citizens’ needs.
“The media will equally help in mobilising citizens to engage in the social protection processes for sustainability.
“This two-day event will, therefore, help to strengthen partnership with the media to fill existing gaps in the reportage of social protection programmes for the vulnerable people in the state,’’ he said.
The Chairperson of Kaduna Social Protection Accountability Coalition, Ms Jessica Bartholomew, said the media engagement was crucial in ensuring that social protection programmes and interventions reached the targeted groups.
She explained that the coalition of civil society organisations and media was working in partnership with the state government to ensure transparency and accountability in the delivery of social protection programmes.
“This meeting will create the needed environment for robust media reportage of social protection interventions in the state through awareness creation and media advocacy,” she said.
Also speaking, Focal Person of Social Investment Programme in the state, Mrs Saude Atoyebi, described social protection as “human rights” designed to protect them against economic shocks, poverty, and vulnerability.
Represented by the Special Assistant to Gov. Nasir El-Rufa’i on Social Investment Programme, Ms Rebecca Padonu, said the state’s social protection policy was being developed with inputs from relevant stakeholders.
She added that the state’s social protection interventions were designed to progressively prevent residents’ exposure to economic and social risks and shocks that could force them into extreme poverty.
“The policy was currently before the state executive council for approval.
“The vision of the policy is to establish an inclusive, robust, realistic and well-coordinated social protection system that ensures no resident falls below the minimum level of social and economic wellbeing,” she said.