The Federal Government on Thursday called for collaboration among stakeholders in the economy to address the challenges facing the social protection schemes being implemented across the federation.

The Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment, Maryam Uwais, said this at the opening session of a dialogue with social protection practitioners.

The event was organised by the World Bank, in collaboration with the Federal Operation Coordinating Unit of the Youth Employment and Social Support Operation, which is under the Ministry of Finance.

Uwais said that the need to improve the social protection scheme was borne out of the conviction that without such programmes, the growth in population might result to a huge social problems that could hamper economic growth.

She stated, “Complex issues require complex solutions and a concerted and focused effort. The Federal Government has studied the social protection policy of past interventions to digest the valuable lessons learnt from them.

“Moving the national social programmes from infancy to a more institutionalised structure requires the cooperation of all stakeholders in order to have the necessary knowledge, resources and skills for transformative undertakings.

“The complex issues facing our nation can best be met with comprehensive and well-considered solutions that utilise the strength of our collective efforts to invest in our people.”

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, noted that for the country to achieve inclusive growth, the issue of social protection must be taken seriously.

She said the implementation of social protection schemes was vital in reducing the level of poverty, noting that this underscored the decision of the Federal Government to set aside about N500bn in the budget for such programmes.

In his speech at the event, the Coordinator of the YESSO initiative of the Federal Government, Andrew Adejo, said the objective of the programme was to create a platform for sharing of knowledge and experience on social protection schemes with a view to reducing the level of poverty in the country.