The Minister for Women Affairs and Social Development, Senator Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan has disclosed that National Social Welfare Policy is underway.
This policy according to the minister will address present socio-economic challenges facing Nigerians especially, persons with disabilities, victims of wars, children, women and internally displaced and other less privileged.
The Minister who made the disclosure at the opening of a two-day meeting to review the draft Social Welfare Policy on Tuesday in Ibadan, the Oyo State noted that this policy was in fulfilment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts in creating conducive environment for sustenance of responsive Social Welfare services in Nigeria.
The meeting was organised by the ministry in partnership with UNICEF.
Jummai Al-Hassan who was represented by the Director of Social Welfare in the ministry, Mrs. Temitope Bamgboye noted that the major objective of the policy was to review the Draft Social Welfare Policy with a view to enriching it.
At the meeting were Directors of Social Welfare departments and child welfare departments among others from all Southern states in the country.
The Minister noted that a similar meeting for those in the Northern part of the country will soon be held in Kaduna.
Jummai Al-Hassan then stressed that the National Policy which will provide succour to millions of Nigerians suffering as a result of poverty, unemployment, insurgency and disabilites among others will be out shortly after a National Dialogue in Abuja where the policy will be harmonise for effective service delivery.
According to her, “I am please to inform you that in fulfilment of creating a conducive environment for sustenance of responsive Social Welfare services in Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in partnership with UNICEF, Nigeria is in the process of developing a National Social Welfare Policy. A draft Social Welfare has been produced”.
“In addition to integral issues such as family, life and destitution among others, the policy is also expected to address emerging issues such as internally displaced persons, violent extremists, child protection etc.
“It is against this background that Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development is organising a two-day meeting with the following objectives.
“To review the Draft Social Welfare Policy with a view to enriching it,
To provide a platform for the inclusion of pertinent emerging issues affecting Social Welfare administration in the country into the policy.
“To ensure a comprehensive and qualitative development of the National Social Welfare Policy.
“The meeting is to review the draft Social Welfare Policy for Nigeria with a view to develop a new one that will meet the current realities.
“The one we have was developed in 2013, but like I told you, it was just a draft, the document we used was the 1989 Social Development Policy, there are so many developments that have come up, that is why there is a need to develop a current policy that will address present challenges.
“The National Social Welfare Policy is underway, yes it is underway that is why we are meeting, directors from Southern states, we will have another one for the North before we have National Dialogue that will harmonise and accommodate all the views.
“We know that issues that are coming out are different from one place to another, issues like terrorism, kidnapping, extremism, we need to actually empower the practitioners to be able to offer attention.
“As you are aware, policies are vital instruments to facilitate planning and coordination of particular sectors. Hitherto, issues of Social Welfare had been guided by the Social Development Policy initiated in 1989.
“Typically, the tenure of a policy is five years to enable issues contained in the policy to be relevant. This state of affairs and the need to develop sector specific guildelines led to the development of several policies such as Community Development Policy, Sport Development Policy and Women Development Policy.
“However, issues of Social Welfare continued to be guided by the Social Development Policy that was time barred since its life span expired in 1994.
“Subsequently, efforts were made to develop a sector specific policy that will have effect on Social Welfare issues, these efforts produced a draft Social Welfare Policy 2013. That draft policy focused on intergral socila welfare issues such as family welfare, social inclusion, vulnarable groups, ageing and other similar issues but due to several problems could bot be validated and remained a draft.
“Essentially, both the Social Development Policy 1989 and draft Social Welfare Policy 2013 have exceeded their effectiveness as many issues have emerged since then to challenge the relevance of the policy. This necessitated drastic response to ensure that issues of Social Welfare are properly guided.
“Is also expected that, directed efforts will lead to a policy that can address social issues that threaten the country’s social fabric, peace and stability”, she concluded.