Nigeria’s cash transfer programme must reach households – W’Bank
Only 0.1 per cent of targeted poor and vulnerable households have received the Federal Government’s recently launched cash transfer of N25,000 per month.
This is according to data from the World Bank’s Lead Economist for Nigeria, Alex Sienaert, during his presentation of the Nigeria Development Update, December 2023 edition last week in Abuja.
According to his presentation document, the Federal Government plans to make cash transfers to low-income households, paying N25,000 per month for three months.
Sienaert disclosed that “Currently 1.5 million households have received money, and the programme is expected to reach five million households by the end of December.”
With only 1.5 million households paid out of the targeted 15 million, it means that payment has been made to only 0.1 per cent of the projected households.
This also means that 99.9 per cent of the targets are yet to get their monthly N25,000 cash transfers despite the overwhelming hardship in the country.
The elimination of fuel subsidies and other recent policies have had a disproportionate impact on Nigeria’s poor and vulnerable, who stand to benefit greatly from a monthly cash transfer system that the Federal Government intends to fund with the World Bank loan.
The PUNCH reports that the disbursement may have been hampered by a low number of poor and vulnerable people with National Identity Numbers, a criterion needed to receive the cash transfer.
The target percentage of individuals registered in the National Social Registry with a valid national ID number from the National Identity Management Commission was 20 per cent by June 30, 2022.
However, as of December 31, 2022, only 0.10 per cent of the totally poor and vulnerable Nigerians on the registry had NIN.
It means that out of the 9.67 million (9,666,420) total beneficiaries of this project, only about 9,670 persons have NIN.
Stressing the role of NIN in the cash transfer program, the World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria said in his presentation, Following the launch, the State Social Registers is going through a robust verification process led by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, in conjunction with the State governments.
“Beneficiaries will be supported to enrol for the NIN during the verification process to expand the coverage and use of the national identity number.”