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Nnamani bemoans the low vote for social protection as the EFCC sets aside N31 billion for 2022.

Dr. Chimaroke Nnamani, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Cooperation and Integration in Africa/New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), has stated that the budgetary provision for social protection in next year’s appropriation bill does not reflect the country’s current health, education, and poverty situation.

Nnamani, who also serves on the Senate Committees on Health, Foreign Affairs, Land Transport, and Women’s Affairs, stated that 52% of Nigerians living in extreme poverty cannot afford basic necessities.

Despite the fact that Budget 2022 is billed as a “budget for economic growth and sustainability” with a package of N16.39 trillion, the former Enugu State governor expressed concern.

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He said: “Social protection revolves around health, education, social development and poverty eradication. 130 million people live under unsafe and unhygienic conditions. Nigeria is at the top globally in terms of open defecations; and top globally in terms of out-of-school children, which is about 16 million.

“In terms of global gender cap indices, Nigeria is 123 out of 153 countries globally. Looking at the budget in the area of social protection, you have education, N1.29 trillion or 7.9 per cent; health, N820 billion or five per cent and poverty eradication N863 million or 5.3 per cent.”

The Senator declared that the allocations are “obviously below the standard recommended by international organisations, including United Nations and African Union, which is put at 12 to 15 per cent.”

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