A 2–DAY STAKEKOLDERS ORIENTATION WORKSHOP ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF ENUGU STATE SOCIAL PROTECTION POLICY HELD AT OSBORN LA PAM HOTEL, ABAKALIKI, EBONYI STATE FROM MONDAY 29TH –TUESDAY 30TH NOVEMBER 2021 DAY ONE;

The workshop started with the registration, recognition and invitation of dignitaries to the high-table. This was followed by an opening prayer said by Mr Nnamani C from the Ministry of Finance at about 09:50am. The Executive Secretary, Enugu State Economic Planning Commission gave an opening remark. In his remarks, he welcomed all participants and apologized for the lapses in lodging that the participants experienced on arrival. He also said the reason why Ebonyi was chosen for the workshop was because; they did not want the participants to be distracted during the programmer. He also said that the Honorable Commissioner for Gender discussed with the Governor on the need to domesticate the social protection policy. He notified participants that a prior workshop was held at Akwa on the intensive costing procedures for the social protection policy, but the agenda for the day is to expose the PRS more on the SPP and to also formulate an action plan. He told UNCEF that there is need not just to expose State but also the Local Government on the aim of social protection policy.
At the end of his message the UNCEF chief field office (Ibrahim Conhet) gave a brief Goodwill message were he applauded the Executive Secretary for the launching of the Enugu Social Protection Policy and said that the aim is to ensure that the social protection policy touches all the MDAs represented in the workshop. Finally he said that UNICEF will continue to engage in the process, until SPP is implemented.
The Hon Commissioner for Gender and Social Development, ably represented by Chief Admin Officer (Mr Ogbodo Sylvanus) gave a welcome address. He said that, Social Protection Policy are policies and programs designed to reduce poverty and vulnerability in the society. And that the State under the leadership of His Excellency the Governor Rt Hon Dr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has implemented countless programs and project geared towards poverty reduction:
Funding of Special School for the Physically Challenged in Education, His Excellency did not stop at funding the Special schools in the State; he also massively employed over 100 Physically Challenged persons in the Civil Service. The list are as follows,
Free Maternal and Child Health initiative in Health. This is one of the programme that has impacted heavily on the lives of our poor and vulnerable pregnant mother and children as they can easily access both pre and post-natal care.
Massive employment of youths to address the issue of road congestion and traffic offenders and clean Enugu team,
Rehabilitation of physically challenged persons in Gender, Development.
Provision of 100 Housing unit to Civil Servants,
His Excellency has also increased the budgetary provision of sectors working directly and indirectly with Social protection policies in order to expand implementation and finally
His Excellency has continued to support trades with N50, 000 on monthly basis
And today we are privileged to have in this hall the Permanent Secretaries of relevant MDAs, Head of Agencies, Heads of Planning Research and Statistics and Prominent NGOs dedicating themselves to developing the implementation Plan for Enugu State Social Protection Policy. The long term expected outcome of this workshop is to have an implementation plan that will spell out projects and programmes with its cost implications as to drive the policy measures captured in the document.
He also commends His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for allowing his staff to leave their State of operation for the achievement of the said objective. After his address he wished the house a fruitful deliberation and then declared the workshop open.
It was at this juncture that the UNICEF desk officer (Amanda Okafor ) asked the participants there expectation after the workshop. Some of the participants highlighted as follows they want to know how their various MDAs can reduce poverty in Enugu State. Second To see that an action plan is developed, implemented, properly documented and the State achieves a workable. To see that there is collaboration between the sectors in Enugu State whose mandate is related to social protection policy. To ensure that at least 50% of the SPP item will be included in the 2022 budget. After the interactions, Amanda went on to present the objective of the workshop .i. To create awareness of the policy document which will be reference document for social protection intervention in the state ii. To bring all stakeholder toa round table discussion for the purpose of assigning roles and responsibilities effective implementation of the social protection policy, iii. To facilitate effective coordination of policy document and alignment of MDAs within the four pillars of social protection
Technical session
A presentation on the overview of social Protection was made by Muhammad Okorie. The presentation focused on, What it seeks to achieve and ways to implement it in the society. He was of the view that social protection policy does not occur in a vacuum, therefore every participant at the workshop are experts in social protection policy and there is need for all the MDAs to contribute to ensure that SPP is achieved. At the end of his presentation, Ex. Secretary commenting said there is need for these presentations to be made in the EXCOs meetings.
At the end of the Tea break, Mr Christain Nwankwo (UNCIEF Prog –Manager) made a presentation on key highlights in the Enugu state Social Protection Policy. In his presentation he said that the document was first introduced at the Federal level, as the National Social Protection Policy in 2017.After which Enugu State adopted the policy and domesticated it. Although so many charges were made to fit the State. He also talked about the 18 policy measures that SPP is saddled with and at the end of his presentation, Muhammad Okorie emphasized on his presentation saying that, social protection policy removes financial barriers that hinder people from accessing the ready existing social system. He also emphasized on the need for a coordinating unit for social protection .He asked participants where such units should be sited and why? There was a debate on which of the MDAs that should oversee the SPP and so many suggestions based on the mandates of the different MDAs. At the end, Muhammed was of the opinion that State Planning Commission should take the lead but it is dependent on the State.
Finally at around 3:09pm, Prof ofuebe was invited for a brief presentation on the cost of implementing Social protection policy in Enugu State. He said the costing was done with real figures from the Enugu state budget and was carried out under the supervision of UNICEF in Akwa. He talked about UNICEF –ILO SPF costing tools, what SPF costing tool do, Methodology of costing, Alternative sources of funds to finance social protection cost estimates and the requirements to institutionalize social protection implementation in Enugu state.
At the end of his presentation, the participants were given assignments to be presented the next day and The Ex. Secretary gave closing remark commending UNICEF Chief & his team and UNICEF did same .Closing prayer was said by Ezea Robinson .O. (Desk officer, SDGs) at around 4.45pm.
DAY TWO .
The day -2 started with the registration of participants at about 08:00-09:00am, which was followed by an opening prayers said by Barr (Mrs ) Georgina Ikwueze at about 9:04am. This was followed by a re-cap of the previous day activities given by Chizube Okonkwoeze. After the recap Mr Soji Akinleye tried to refresh the minds of participants outside the recap by asking what they learnt from yesterday’s programme. At this point, Mr Amos Agbo (from the Ministry of Gender and Social Development ) said that he understood that social protection policy, aims at reducing poverty, addressing unemployment, health challenges etc. This is done by removing financial barriers that hinders people from accessing the available social system. Other participants also mentioned they understood the need for Social Insurance, Social Transfer, Social Services and Labour /Jobs. The house was then divided into four thematic groups,
Social Insurance
Social Transfer
Social services and
Labour /Jobs
The groups were asked to identify and present the social Protection Programmers/ Interventions currently existing in the State under the four pillars. At the end each group leader for each presented their findings and corrections were made as to where each programme belong under the four pillars.
The coordinator of SOCU ably represented by made (Mr Gab) made a presentation on the identification of Beneficiaries and Enugu state single social Register, he said if SPP needs the data of poor people in Enugu they need to write to SOCU though the right channels.
Mr Soji Akinleye then made a presentation on the Stakeholders Analysis and Role Clarification were he talked about Allies –Evidence , for instance who are the stakeholder groups required to generate updated credible evidence for social protection agenda in the state/ specifically what is required of them .eg. SOCU, Bureau, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Gender, traditional rulers and P.Gs.
He also talked about Allies-sustainable policy and Allies-Programme. At the end the house closed for the day.

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