The United Nations (UN) on Wednesday handed over specialised Information Technology (IT) equipment to the Sokoto State Government.
The donation was part of the UN’s intervention through its agencies, to institutionalise social protection for accelerated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) implementation in Nigeria.
Handing over the equipment, Mr Guy Adoua, the Deputy County Director, UN World Food Programme (WFP) Nigeria, said the event marked a complete turnaround in the social protection sector and the cash transfer process in the state.
Adoua, represented by Mrs. Agnes Mungatia, the Team Lead, Capacity Strengthening and Policy coherence, said WFP in 2021 adopted a methodical approach to strengthen the state’s capacity for cash transfers.
“One of the key recommendations was to support the state with hardware/infrastructural technology alongside cash-based transfer enabled Managed Information Services (MIS) system to enhance complete value-chain support.
“This led to the constitution of a state-level social protection Cash Working Group (CWG).
“The state personnel at the CWG are skilled enough to do the job and UN is complementing with the needed IT equipment and managed information services to transform the process to a digital approach,” he said.
Adoua commended the state government for providing an enabling environment toward the success of the programme assuring that the UN agencies would continue to support the state.
Speaking, Dr Maryam Said, the UNICEF Chief, Sokoto Field Office, said the project was designed to support implementation in the state.
“This will ensure social development with reduction in poverty, focusing on improvement in accessing healthcare services, nutrition and education for women and children.
“In spite of the short period of implementation, the project has made great impact to both the government and people of the state, particularly the poor and vulnerable,” she said.
In his remarks, Alhaji Usman Arzika, the Permanent Secretary, Sokoto State Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, commended UN agencies’ dedication toward alleviating the hardship of the people across the state.
Arzika assured UN that the state government would continue to ensure an enabling environment for all partners to work freely in the state.
“We will continue to pursue more projects to support our people to achieve the desired SDG target,” he said. (NAN)