Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The latest report from International Labour Organisation (ILO) indicates that concerted efforts are still needed to ensure that the right to social security becomes a acent of Africans are still without social protection.
Presenting the report in Abuja yon Tuesday, the ILO Assistant Director- General and Regional Director for Africa, Mrs. Cynthia Samuel- Olajuwon, said despite progress in the extension of social protection in many parts of the world, the human rights to social security is not yet a reality for a majority of the world’ s population.
According to new data presented in the “World Social Protection Report 2017-2019, only 45 per cent of the global population is effectively covered by at least one special benefit, while the remaining 55 per cent about 4 billion people are left unprotected.
Samuel-Olajuwon said there exist significant coverage gap with respect to children, mothers with new- borns, unemployed workers, and persons with disabilities as well as vulnerable population.
She said development of social protection floors is therefore an urgent priority in Africa.
“The lack of social protection leaves people vulnerable to ill- health, poverty, inequality, and social exclusion throughout their lifestyle”, she said.
The regional director said while extending coverage is a primary objective, attention needs to be paid to benefit adequacy, and the levels of social protection benefits are often insufficient to bring people out of poverty and insecurity.
She added that it is necessary to increase public expenditure on social protection to increase coverage in order to provide at least a basic social protection floor for all. The report took a look at social protection for children and discovered that 35 percent of children worldwide enjoy effective access to social protection, meaning that almost 1.3 billion children are not covered with most of them living in Africa and Asia, 83 million new mother’s not covered, 153 million unemployed workers not covered and 27.8 per cent of persons with disabilities not covered.
Also speaking, the Country Director, ILO Country Office Abuja, Mr. Dennis Zulu, said the report which was prepared by ILO Directorate of Social Protection will provide some evidence of statistics in planning, monitoring and evaluating social protection. He urged that the report should not be swept under the carpet but to be implemented.
Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Prof. Stephen Ocheni, said with the launching in July 2017, the Social Protection Policy by the federal government is an indication that the Buhari administration is committed to ensuring that every sector of the Nigerian society is covered.
The minister said the deficit in social protection is glaring and worrisome because it is not yet a reality for about,70 per cent of the world population
“This constitute great obstacle to social and economic development and should be of great concern to every serious government.