Nigeria Association of Social Workers (NASOW), the umbrella body of all Social Workers across the federation has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to Nigeria Council for Social Work Regulatory Bill which has already been passed by the National Assembly.
NASOW made this appeal in a communiqué issued at the end of its 33rd Annual General Meeting/International Conference themed “Feasibility and Visibility of Social Work Practice in West Africa Sub Region,” held in Abuja.
In the communiqué signed by NASOW National President, Comrade Kolawole Olawale, and National General Secretary, Comrade Jamilu Musa, NASOW observed that the prospect of Social Work is very bright in West Africa Sub Region but more efforts should be put in place to create more awareness of the profession by all stakeholders including the practitioners, institutions, development agencies and the government.
The association noted that Social Workers are eagerly waiting for Mr. President to assent to the bill which is waiting to be assented to by President Buhari.
NASOW also noted that up till now, involvement of Social Workers in schools, hospitals, prisons, rehabilitation centres is still low, calling on relevant agencies to ensure they involve social workers in the needed areas.
The communiqué reads, “The conference observed as follows; The prospect of Social Work is very bright in West Africa sub region but more efforts should be put in place to create more awareness of the profession by all stakeholders including the practitioners, institutions, development agencies and the government.
“The involvement of Social Workers in Schools, Hospitals, Prisons, Rehabilitation centres is still low.
“That the Nigeria Council for Social Work Regulatory Bill which was passed by the National Assembly is still waiting to be assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“That baby factory, violent crimes and other criminal behaviours are daily on the increase due to unfavourable socio-economic situation in the country.
“The conference also observed that many people are engaged to work as Social Workers but are yet to have academic background in Social Work.
“Condemned States that still owe salaries of their workers for months which have led to loss of many lives and unnecessary hardship to the workers and their families.
“Observed increase in the rates of suicide in Nigeria which is a result of hard economic condition currently facing the country”.
The association while commending the President in his fight against corruption then seek his assent to the bill which has been passed by the National Assembly.
“Made a passionate appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to use his good office to assent to the Nigeria Council for Social Work Regulatory Bill when it is transmitted to the presidency by the National Assembly.
“Appreciated the courage and unprecedented political will demonstrated by President Muhamadu Buhari to kill corruption before corruption kill us as a nation.
“Commended the National Assembly, for the passage of the bill, (Nigerian Council for Social Work) as it is our collective belief that assenting to this bill by President Buhari will go a long way in assisting the government meet the needs and yearning of Nigerians as relate to issues of provision of welfare to the citizens as enshrined in the 1999 constitution as amended”.
NASOW also commended the National Universities Commission (NUC), for the harmonization of the social work curriculum and providing benchmark for undergraduates and post graduates social work programs in the country.
“We commended the National Universities Commission (NUC) for harmonization of Social Work curriculum and providing benchmark for undergraduates and postgraduates social work programmes in Nigeria. The conference thanked the CDC, THIS-N among others for their supports.
“Urged the Federal Government to facilitate the accreditation of Federal School of Social Work, Emene, Enugu State and upgrade it to a degree awarding institution.
“Advised those who are employed in social work setting as professionals without certificates in Social Work to go and acquire at least a diploma or a postgraduate diploma in Social Work so as to upgrade themselves as Social Workers, before the regulatory bill is
assented to by Mr President.
“Urged state governors to ensure that they involve more social workers in their various social welfare programs which include care for the elderly, persons with disabilities, youths, children and women.
“The conference commended FCT Minister, the host chapter, FCT and other contributors for a successful hosting of the conference.”