The Social Economic Right and Accountability Project (SERAP) has decried the non-disbursement of budgetary allocation for the implementation of social protection interventions between 2019 to 2021 by the Lagos State Government.
The Senior Project Officer at SERAP, Temidayo Omoju explained that a research conducted by the organization on the review of the Lagos State Social Protection Policy and Multi-Year Budget Analysis Report revealed that it was only in 2022 that Social Protection interventions received some allocations, though they have not been accessed.
Omoju stressed the need for the institutionalization of social protection policy framework, which would enable the poor and vulnerable in the society to enjoy the full benefits of the policy.
He also called for the transition of the policy into law to enhance effective implementation and relevance beyond the current administration.
For his part, Rev. Bola Nuga of LASCOP shared that in the course of their interaction with policy holders, government made budget based on expected revenue but in the course of the year they were not able to get the income as expected.
Nuga stressed that CSOs need to give a push and be consistent in ensuring that people benefit from the policy program.
Also Tolani Ojuri who was part of the team that went on the advocacy visit to some Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government mentioned that, “we have started a journey but we have not made the kind of progress that we expect because there are so much in place but not much has been done.”
Ojuri encouraged CSOs community to closely monitor the activities of government to ensure the policy implementation to the latter.
One of the participants, Mrs. Elizabeth Bernard urged the Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget to ensure the policy is better positioned to serve the purpose it has been set for, and to ensure that the poor and vulnerable exit the poverty line.
With support from the European Union Agent for Citizen-driven Transformation (EU-ACT), SERAP has been using the media to reach out to Lagosians on the provisions of the LASSPP and how members of the public can hold the government accountable.