The World Bank has taken a significant step forward in addressing Nigeria’s economic challenges by releasing a substantial portion of the $800 million allocated to the National Social Safety Net Program-Scale Up. This initiative aims to provide critical economic relief to vulnerable populations in Nigeria.
According to information obtained by The PUNCH, approximately $299.99 million has already been disbursed to Nigeria by the World Bank as part of this program. This substantial amount constitutes about 37.5 percent of the total loan designated for this purpose. However, there remains a significant balance of $442.88 million that is eagerly awaited to further bolster this vital program.
President Tinubu plan to disburse cash to Nigerians
The National Social Safety Net Program-Scale Up is a conditional cash transfer program designed to mitigate the impact of recent governmental decisions, such as the removal of the fuel subsidy, on impoverished and vulnerable Nigerians. In response to the hardships faced by these groups, President Bola Tinubu officially launched a conditional cash transfer program in October 2023.
This ambitious initiative aims to provide relief to an astounding 15 million households across the nation, offering financial support of N75,000 over three months. As the program gains momentum, the federal government is actively seeking the expertise of a consulting firm to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the cash transfer mechanism.
The upgrade is intended not only to streamline the process but also to ensure that assistance reaches those in need in a timely and impactful manner.
The official document outlines the purpose of the consulting services, stating, “The Federal Republic of Nigeria has received financing from the World Bank towards the cost of the National Cash Transfer Office under the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation and implementing agency of the client and intends to apply part of the proceeds towards payments under the contract for Upgrade of MIS for NASSP-SU.”
It further explains, “The consulting services (‘the Upgrade of MIS for NASSP-SU’) include carrying out the development, implementation, deployment, and maintenance of a user-friendly, interactive, web-based MIS System to support the activities of NASSP-SU of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for effective and efficient delivery of program benefits to the poor and vulnerable.”
This upgrade is considered imperative as the National Economic Council has decided not to rely on the social register from the previous administration due to concerns about its credibility in managing the conditional cash transfer program.
The financing agreement between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the World Bank’s International Development Association for the National Social Safety Net Program-Scale Up outlines a repayment plan in staggered installments. The first installment to the World Bank is due on January 15, 2027, with the final payment expected on July 15, 2051.
The release of the loan by the World Bank and the commitment to improving the efficiency of the cash transfer system mark significant steps in addressing economic challenges and providing much-needed relief to vulnerable populations in Nigeria.
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