poverty

The National Assembly is working on a new law to tackle poverty and other socio-economic problems in Nigeria.

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The bill seeks to provide food transfers, cash transfers, credit schemes and conditional subsidy programmes for the less privileged.

It is titled “A bill for an Act to establish the Social Safety Net Service to provide for reduction of hardcore poverty among rural and urban vulnerable groups and implementation of social protection systems.”

It also includes the provision of rural maintenance programmes for the benefit of households. This is where one or more children are terminally ill.

The programme also entails education stipend, old age allowance, and conditional and unconditional disability allowance.

Others are agriculture subsidy for marginal farmers, as well as unemployment/housing provision.

Under Budget and Planning

Its sponsor Senator Rilwan Akanbi (APC, Oyo South), said the service shall be under a department in the Federal Ministry of Budget and Planning.

He also disclosed that the programme would be created in all branches of the ministry in the 36 states.

According to him, there would also be safety units in all the 774 local governments.

Safety centres in all LGAs

The proposed agency has other functions. They include providing effective coordination between the safety centres in the states and the units in the local councils. This is aimed at adequately targeting poor areas, Akanbi said.

It would further reach individuals in such places and having a monitoring and evaluation unit to assess projects.

The service is also expected to develop a blueprint for effective monthly, quarterly and yearly monitoring, evaluation and analysis of the safety nets.

This would help to develop a matrix for poverty reduction by collaborating with the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) that have similar platforms for social welfare.