SP: Expert harps on Consensus between CSOs, Government

SP: Expert harps on Consensus between CSOs, Government

By: Femi Mustapha

Experts have called for Consensus Building Between the Government and CSO partners to deepen social protection to improve welfare for Vulnerable Nigerians.

They asserted this during the 2023 Review /Learning and 2024 Planning meeting for the Kaduna Social Protection Accountability Coalition (KADSPAC) and Zamfara Social Protection Platform (ZSPF) held in Zaria.

They argued that deepening social protection would allow the government to provide a safety net for vulnerable individuals and communities within the country.

The Senior Stakeholder Engagement Specialist of Expanding Social Protection for Inclusive Development (ESPID), project Yimave Gyangyan in his presentation said an effective consensus process is inclusive and engages all participants.

According to him, Consensus decisions can lead to better quality outcomes that empower the group or community to move forward to create their future together.

He added that consensus decisions between the Government and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) often lead to completely new solutions that the team arrives at while engaging with members, saying it is a shift from the original principled position to a neutral ground.

Similarly, the Chairperson of KADSPAC, Ms. Jessica Bartholomew, said the importance given to social protection policies at both national and state levels, social protection coverage remained limited in Nigeria, hence the need for a consensus between the government and CSOs.

Participants at the meeting in a group photograph

She stressed that anything that must be done to improve the lives of the vulnerable must be done through an inclusive process, and social partners must be involved in negotiating the outcomes.

Similarly, the Assistant Secretary of KADSPAC, Yusfu Ishaku Goje, opined that consensus building is central to the delivery of social protection programs and interventions.

He explained that the fight against poverty is the collective responsibility of all stakeholders.

“More so, at a time when multidimensional poverty, compounded by inflation and devaluation of the naira, is alarmingly on the increase.

Therefore, the need for the government and CSOs to work together in the spirit of collaboration and cooperation in tackling the challenges of poverty and vulnerability cannot be overemphasized.

“This collaboration must be built on the foundation of mutual trust and sincerity of purpose. The core principles of transparency, accountability, and responsiveness will also be key to sustaining any such consensus built towards poverty reduction.” He said.

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