From Abdulrazaq Mungadi, Gombe

The Gombe State Government has launched a Social Protection Policy targeting women and children in the state. According to the government, the borne out of its quest to protect the vulnerable groups that are faced with high levels of poverty and inequality.

Speaking at the launch of the policy document which was supported by the United Nations International Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF), Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya disclosed that the state government understands that social protection is one of the best foundations for inclusive, equitable, and sustainable development.

The governor who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Manassah Daniel Jatau, added that the state government had aligned with the federal government’s social protection policy to protect the vulnerable population in the state which constitutes mainly women and children from the risks of disease, death, and illiteracy as well as poverty.

He further explained that the plans and vision for the policy were to ensure a healthy, peaceful, and prosperous state and to reduce poverty to 15% by 2030 as captured in the 10 years development plan (DEVAGOM) of the state and the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He commended the Bauchi field office of UNICEF and other Technical Working Groups for providing support for the development of the policy document.

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Speaking on behalf of UNICEF, the Country Representative, Cristian Mundate commended the federal and governments of Gombe state for developing and domesticating the Social Protection Policy towards bringing families out of extreme poverty.

She assured that UNICEF is committed to working, providing knowledge and technical advice having had the social protection experience. She tasked the government to ensure the full implementation of the policy to achieve the desired results for the betterment of the lives of the citizenry.

Also speaking, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Prof. Ibrahim Abubakar Njodi assured that Governor Yahaya’s led administration will leave no stone unturned to ensure the provision of a conducive atmosphere for better livelihood of the people.

Meanwhile, the country representative of UNICEF also commended the state government for establishing the Coordinating Research and Economic Intelligence Unit (CREIU) at the Budget, Planning, and Development Partner Coordination Office (BP&DPCO).

Cristian gave the commendation at the commissioning of the CREIU office which was co-funded by UNICEF. She explained the unit was established to conduct analysis and research in various fields to provide relevant data and statistics for enhanced decision-making, policy formulation, and implementation for the state government.

She stated that the office, which is the first of its kind in the northeast region is mandated to monitor and review emerging economic trends and assess the economic performance of the state government as well as all development partner investments and urged other states to emulate Gombe.