The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs (LASODA) have commended the Lagos State Civil Society Participation for Development (LACSOP) on its Citizens-Led Accountability Mechanism (CLAIM) project which sets out to ensure the full implementation of the Lagos State Social Protection Policy.
The commendations were given at the capacity building workshop for Civil Society Organizations in Lagos on how to engage the government towards enhancing a citizens-led and inclusive social protection delivery in the state.
While speaking at the workshop, Mohammed Okorie, the Mohammed Okorie, Social Policy Manager at UNICEF noted that UNICEF has been supporting SP for over a decade and has been working in partnership with CSOs to drive the process.
Okorie who noted that the progress on SP in the state is highly commendable despite the numerous challenges that were experienced at inception stressed that “when we started, we struggled to convince the government that it is important, we struggled to convince the people that it SP is different from mere political promises. But I am so happy about where we are right now.”
He thereafter commended LACSOP for organizing the workshop, noting that “the critical aspect of SP is monitoring the implementation and LACSOP is training CSOs to build strong leadership that would ensure the SP programmes gets to the last mile.”
He also applauded the commitment of the Lagos State Government for creating a department with the Ministry of Economic, Planning, and Budget, to oversee the implementation of the SP policy.
The General Manager of LASODA, Dare Dairo also commended LACSOP for building the capacity of Persons with Disabilities and their organizations to drive the implementation of the Social Protection Policy.
He assured that the Agency will continue to provide the necessary support to PWDs in the state, to ensure they do not live in poverty.
While sharing information about the activities of the Lagos MEPB regarding Social Protection, Mrs. Ayodele Fajemibola from the Social Protection Coordinating Department explained that the Department is currently onboarding poor and vulnerable people in the state into the social register.
Fajemibola explained that the social register documents the data of poor people with the aim of linking them to opportunities such as cash transfers and empowerment programmes that would help them to exit the poverty line.
She allayed the fears of the CSOs about excluding the poor in the register by clarifying that the Department adopted the community-based targeting approach and is trying its best to avoid the error of exclusion. She also noted that there are offices across all the 57 LCDAs where the poor can easily register.
The project which is being funded by European Union Agents for Citizens-Driven transformation (EU-ACT), is being implemented by LACSOP in partnership with LEAP Africa, Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), Women Liberation and Transformation Group and Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).