Fresh from reviewing the 2018 budget allocation for youth development which it describes as unrealistic and insufficient, YIAGA Africa has lauded the increased programmes targeted at women and girls while urging the improved monitoring and evaluation of such allocations as sometimes funds are not expended in reality. This is contained in the report of the 2018 Budget Gender Review conducted by YIAGA Africa’s Centre for Legislative Engagement.
The review, which was presented by Barrister Stella Odiase to stakeholders at a validation meeting in Abuja, shows that for the first time within the past decade, more sectors like Health, Education Solid Minerals, Environment, Niger Delta and Communication Technology have included funding that targets women and girls specifically.
During the presentation, Barrister Odiase also revealed that some Ministries have, for the first time, included the implementation of sector policies that target gender disparities as part of their respective budgets in 2018. “For instance, there is funding to implement the gender policies of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Women Affairs have budgets for the implementation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act 2015”, she said.
The 2018 budget gender review which seeks to address the limitations that either gender faces when it comes to accessing public goods and services, also revealed that there are opportunities in every sector to improve the situation of women and girls during the implementation of generic programmes at little or no additional costs especially at the level of research and development, Monitoring and Evaluation, stakeholder consultations, skills transfer and training.
Meanwhile the 2018 budget has also retained the N500 billion Social Investment Portfolio (SIP) allocation for third fiscal year in a row, which presents an opportunity to further expand opportunities and access for women and girls. The SIP portfolio was introduced in 2015 by the Buhari Administration under the auspices of the Federal Government’s National Social Investment Office (NSIO).