Press Release
ANEEJ Calls on Governor Soludo to Inaugurate Social Protection Council, expedite Social Protection Bill

ANEEJ Calls on Governor Soludo to Inaugurate Social Protection Council, expedite Social Protection Bill

BENIN CITY, NIGERIA. June 17, 2024… In light of ever-growing economic challenges in the country, the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), a civil society organization dedicated to poverty eradication has called on the Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo, to inaugurate the council on social protection for the State Social Protection Policy developed and approved by the State Executive Council.

ANEEJ Acting Executive Director, Leo Atakpu, in a statement issued in Benin City today, also urged Governor Soludo to expedite the implementation of the policy process by submitting an executive Bill on social protection to the Anambra State House of Assembly.

Atakpu emphasized the urgency of moving forward without further delay. “We urge Governor Soludo to take decisive action of inaugurating the social protection council and sending the executive Bill to the Anambra State House of Assembly, so the government can accelerate the provision of social protection and guarantee a safety net for those most in need in Anambra State.”

Earlier in 2023, Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Ms. Chiamaka Nnake, while receiving ANEEJ officials in her office highlighted the importance of the policy during a stakeholder meeting in partnership with the Africa Network For Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ). She described the policy as a comprehensive approach reflecting the needs and inputs of various stakeholders to address social protection issues in Anambra.

Ms. Nnake stated, “The policy was approved at the national level and is being domesticated to suit Anambra’s unique context. It aims to be a holistic and true reflection of the people’s needs regarding social protection.”

The ANEEJ chief commended the state’s efforts in developing the policy alongside CSOs and other relevant stakeholders and calls on Governor Soludo to finalize this vital process. “The social protection policy is a beacon of hope for many and a necessary tool to combat poverty and inequality. The establishment of the council and the legislative backing through the executive Bill are essential steps to ensure its effective implementation,” Atakpu added.

“We appeal to all stakeholders, including civil society organizations, community leaders, and citizens, to support this call for immediate action. The operationalization of the Anambra State Social Protection Policy is crucial to providing succour and opportunities to the poor and vulnerable, ensuring no one is left behind in the quest for development and prosperity in Anambra,” Atakpu concluded.

It would be recalled that the Anambra State Social Protection Policy, designed in 2022 and envisioned as a lifeline for vulnerable communities, has yet to be operationalized. While the policy was expected to be ready for implementation in January 2023, the necessary council has not been inaugurated, leaving many vulnerable populations without the promised shield against poverty and economic instability.

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