The Oyo State Government and the United Nation Children’s Funds (UNICEF), has, on Thursday, reached an agreement to tackle poverty through cash transfer to the vulnerable and the extremely poor in the society.
The Commissioner for Economic and Budget Planning, Prof. Musbau Babatunde, said the Social Protection Policy programme would alleviate extreme poverty and enhance sustainable economic growth in the state.
He noted that the critical role social protection plays in combating poverty and supporting the vulnerable necessitated the validation of the Oyo State Social Protection Policy.
Babatunde stated this, on Thursday, after a 2-day Validation of the Oyo State Social Protection Policy, organised by the Oyo State Ministry of Economic and Budget Planning in collaboration with UNICEF, held in Ibadan.
The Commissioner said one of the cardinal points of the Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration is to tackle poverty and to make life better for residents of Oyo State.
He noted: “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 disclosed.
Babatunde explained that Social Protection Policy programmes would 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 and other empowerment interventions programmes and projects.
The Commissioner, on behalf of the Oyo State Government, admonished members of the committee to reflect the essence of inter-agency collaboration required in tackling problems associated with poverty and vulnerability in the state.
Earlier, in his opening remark, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Economic and Budget Planning, Ademola Ajibola, commended the present administration in Oyo State for partnering with Development Agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other notable private organisations, in the task of making lives more meaningful and comfortable for the citizenry.
Ajibola, who was represented by Mr Ademola Adediran, thanked UNICEF for supporting the state, adding that the support would be sustained to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the policy in the state.
Meanwhile, the representative of UNICEF in Oyo State, Mrs Hope Oduma, commended the Makinde-led administration for its willingness and commitment to ensuring the realisation of the social protection policy.
0She added that UNICEF is proud to collaborate with the Oyo State government in realising the goals of solving poverty and vulnerability issues.
The event was witnessed by top government functionaries including, the Oyo State Statistician-General, Mr Teslim Adejuwon; Senior Special Assistant to Governor Makinde on Budget, Kehinde Ogunsaya and the Special Assistant Legal to the Governor, Ms. Ifedolapo Ologuro, among others.