The Federal Government has been advised to involve social workers in finding solutions to the myriad of social problems facing the country.
The call was made over the weekend by Alhaji Mashood Mustapha, the National President of Nigeria Association of Social Workers (NASoW) at the association’s emergency executive meeting which took place in Abuja.
“Government should allow social workers to manage the IDPs, refugees and other critical centers across the country. The government should put square peg in square hole. If this is done, most of the social challenges in this country will be a thing of the past”, he said in a statement issued on Sunday by NASoW Public Relations Officer, Mr. Musliudeen Adebayo.
Mustapha regretted that social workers who are trained to tackle social problems are not involved in the management of the Internally Displaced Persons Camps (IDPs) and rehabilitation centers among others. According to him, social problems such as terrorism, kidnapping, hooliganism, drug abuse and related criminal acts will continue to thrive if those with adequate training to tackle the problems are not involved.
His words: “Social workers in Nigeria are not happy with the current security situation in the country and want the government to be proactive in tackling the menace, as nobody and nowhere is safe again. The government should provide social, political, economic, and security atmosphere so safe, so sure and so reassuring for the growth and development of the country. This insecurity is denying hope to millions of our citizens, a new security approach is urgently needed to protect lives and property.
“We are social workers, with high capacity for problem solving, and trained to provide solutions to the array of social problems confronting the progress of this country if we are adequately involved in the formulation and implementation of critical social policies.”
Mustapha, while commending the National Assembly for the passage of Nigerian Council For Social Work (Establishment) Bill 2017, urged the parliament to send the bill back to President Muhammadu Buhari since the issues that made him withhold assent to the bill have been resolved by the Ministries of Labour, Women Affairs and Social Development as well as Office of Attorney General of the Federation.
“The Nigerian Council for Social Work shall be under the total control of the Federal Government of Nigeria when the bill is passed into law”, he said. “We are now appealing to the National Assembly to please forward the Bill to the President for assent. It is very unfortunate that the bill that will regulate and control the practice of Social Work profession has taken many years to be passed into law.”
Speaking further on the importance of the bill, Mustapha said: “The Nigerian Council for Social Work (Establishment) Bill 2017 is all about the vulnerable, the poor, the sick, the disadvantaged, the abandoned, the orphan, the lame, the blind, the dumb, the deaf, the injured and the children on the street among others. This is the bill that will help government to assist the poor, this is a bill that will ensure that social services get to those who need it ..
“This bill is not all about social workers alone but about all Nigerians. It will help the poor as well as the rich. It is an all encompassing and all embracing bill that would give proper legislation to social work practice in Nigeria and eradicate quackery”.