SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT POLICY

Today,we go a step further in our discussion on ” Are There Welfare Policies in Nigeria? ” Nigeria is often referred to as the “Giant of Africa”, owing to its large population and economy. With approximately 174 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, and the seventh most black populous country in the world. Nigeria has one of the largest populations of youth in the world. The country is viewed as a multinational state, as it is inhabited by over 500 ethnic groups, of which the three largest are the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba; these ethnic groups speak more than 500 different languages, and are identified with a wide variety of cultures regarding religion. Nigeria is divided roughly in half between Christians, who live mostly in the southern and central parts of the Country, and Muslims, concentrated mostly in the northern and south-western regions. A minority of the population practice religions indigenous to Nigeria, such as those native to Igbo and Yoruba peoples.

At present, there is no all-inclusive national social welfare policy that will ensure the welfare and development of persons with disabilities, orphans and vulnerable children, the elderly and other vulnerable Nigerians.

However, there are several policies which addresses specific welfare issues in Nigeria, some of which will be discussed on this platform in this series. I will begin with:

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT POLICY (1989)

The country has a Social Development policy. The Nigerian National Advisory committee on Social Development (NASCD) in 1975 identified social development as the subject of social welfare, women programs, sport development and community development. However, this was later considered to be narrow in scope and subsequent governments have broadened the scope of social development in Nigeria. Today, there is a full-fledged ministry of social development, youth and sport which was first established in 1977. All the component 36 states replicated this at the state level.

Its major instrumental objectives is to organize and promote appropriate programs and services in each of social welfare, community development, women and development, youth and sports development. To realize this, the policy has seven (7) broad goals through which it can accomplish its objectives, they are:

The continuous improvement of the quality of life of the entire citizens both as individuals and as groups must be assured.

A constant promotion and improvement of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups notably, the disabled, the poor and destitute, the aged, children, youth, rural population and women through the initiation of programs aimed at improving their welfare must be assured.

The development and mobilization of human and social capacity, in particular the strengthening of the capacity of various institutions, communities and target groups to cope creatively and effectively with the challenges of change must be done.

The anticipation, control and maximization of social problems must be achieved.

The maintenance of high moral standard of the nation as well as being alert and responsive against policies and trends both foreign or local that mitigate against such standard must be assured.

Maximization of the social development sector contribution towards the attainment of the country’s economic social integration, social defense and human development objectives must be achieved and

Promotion of policy orientations and programs of interventions likely to strengthen the observance and protection of human rights, advance social justice and human dignity and enhance the status of people in the scheme of national development must be done.

The question is ,is this policy implemented as it should be implemented ? Are the targeted audience the real beneficiaries of this support programs? I will be unfair if I do not speak about one sure way you can have 100% welfare coverage,I know JESUS CHRIST ! In him you have all things pertaining to Life and Godliness. He is simply sweet and reliable…

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