Stakeholder consultative meeting discusses revised Social Protection Bill

BY: Juliet Akyaa Safo
 Dr Rita Owusu-Amankwah speaking at the meeting
Dr Rita Owusu-Amankwah speaking at the meeting

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, has held a stakeholders’ consultative meeting with the private sector and state-owned institutions, to discuss how to improve on, and facilitate the passage of the revised Social Protection (SP) Bill, 2018.

Addressing the meeting, the Director of Social Protection at the ministry, Dr Rita Owusu-Amankwah, said the private sectors’ involvement in the passage of the revised bill, was crucial, because, when passed into law, “The bill  will serve as the single most important legal document for the delivery of social protection services in Ghana, as espoused in the National Social Protection Policy.”

Role

She said the private sector was expected to support SP interventions through structured corporate social responsibility (CSR) schemes and initiatives, both financially, and in-kind.

She said they could also assist “the state in apprenticeships and employment schemes; monitor the SP protection policy from the private sector’s perspective and contribute to making a strong business case for social protection.”

Target

According to Dr Owusu-Amankwah, the target of the policy was to address three key issues.

The first is eradicating poverty by 2030, that is, reducing by at least 50 per cent of the proportion of men, women and children living in poverty by 2030.

The second is “Increasing by 75 per cent the number of youth and adults with relevant skills for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship, including technical and vocational skills by 2030, and also providing access to formal social security and social insurance for all Ghanaians.”

Pension scheme

A speech read on behalf of the Chief Director of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Dr Afisah Zakariah, touched on the pension scheme for all Ghanaians and said: “The main reason for a pension scheme is to protect workers in the informal sector.”

She said the ministry was thus strengthening its collaboration with the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to maintain the standard of living for retired workers in the informal and private sector.

Private sector

The participants, among others, suggested that benefits of the Social Protection Bill should be properly defined, while sources of funds for the effective implementation of the bill, should be clearly outlined.

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