Saturday, August 29, 2009

Nigeria getting social security next year

 The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced it would begin the implementation of national social security policy next year. Nigeria has never had a social security system since its independence 49 years ago.

The draft policy for social security was submitted to the government by General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), a former Head of State, who is also the Chairman of the National Working Committee on Social Security Policy for Nigeria.

The minister of Labour, Price Adetokunbo Kayode, received the document on behalf of the President Yar'Adua in Abuja. He said the implementation would begin in the next four months because the present administration is eager to provide social security for the people. He added that the essence of government itself was to provide security and welfare for its citizens:

"Though it took us 49 years as a nation to do this, the most important thing is that we have done it. The purpose of the government, according to the laws and the constitution, is the security and welfare of the people and this (the document) represents the social security and welfare of our people."

"I want to assure you, even though it took us 49 years to do it and it took the committee four months to put this together, the government will implement it and it will not take four months for the Federal Government to implement it.

"Government must provide social security for our people. It is the duty of government to do so, and this is my belief and I will drive this belief as long as I remain in office. The seven-point agenda of President Yar'Adua is all about security and welfare of our people.

"With social security, we will handle poverty, crimes and other social vices. We will implement this policy. We will drive it."

The former head of state also expressed serious concern about the current state of Nigeria, adding that collapse and non-existence of basic infrastructure had created a disincentive for millions of Nigerians who live in the cities, constituting serious danger to the public:

"The steady decline in the standard of living and ethical values of our countrymen and women over the years are attributable to ever widening income inequality, mass unemployment, mass poverty and social exclusion. These socio-economic maladies are due to external macro-economic dislocations and largely to internal mis-governance and malfeasance across the board" he said.


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