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Urban Areas Benefit Most From FG’s Cash Transfer Program



Urban Areas Benefit Most From FG's Cash Transfer Program

The federal government’s cash transfer program, funded by an $800 million World Bank loan, has primarily benefited urban areas.

News About Nigeria reports that over 2.5 million households have received cash transfers as of May 2024.

This is compared to 700,000 rural households, indicating a significant disparity in the distribution of benefits.

The programme, which is part of the National Social Safety Net Programme-Scale Up (NASSP-SU) project, aims to provide financial support to poor and vulnerable households.

However, progress has been slower than anticipated due to delays in declaring project effectiveness and approval of the external borrowing plan by the National Assembly.

Despite the challenges, the programme has covered 1,652 urban wards and integrated the National Social Register (NSR) with the National Identification Number (NIN) to strengthen the targeting system.

The government plans to reach 15 million households with the programme, but so far, only about three million households have benefited, which is about 20% of the target.

The World Bank has rated the project as highly risky, citing security concerns and recommending a suspension of field activities.

Two fatal incidents involving project staff have been recorded, and the project has commenced preparation of a security risk assessment and management plan to mitigate security risks.

The cash transfer programme is part of the government’s efforts to cushion the impact of reforms, especially the removal of fuel subsidy, on the poor and vulnerable population.

The World Bank noted that cash transfers can help save Nigerians from intergenerational poverty traps, as inflation and low economic growth adversely affect the poor.