By NIYI JACOBS
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s government has yet to kickstart payment of N75,000 to vulnerable Nigerians, despite the World Bank confirming disbursing part of Nigeria’s $800 million fuel subsidy removal palliatives loan.
It would be noted that in the World Bank document that the development bank had disbursed $299.99 million, representing 37.5 per cent of the loan, to the Federal Government under the National Social Safety Net Program-Scale Up.
The World Bank confirmed that $442.88 million is yet to be disbursed to Nigeria.
Recall that to cushion the economic impact of fuel subsidy removal since June 2023, the government unveiled a $800 million Social Safety Net Programme, a conditional cash transfer scheduled to be implemented by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs & Poverty Alleviation.
With this loan, the Federal Government plans to run a monthly cash transfer programme for poor and vulnerable Nigerians, who have been hit hard by recent policies, such as the fuel subsidy removal.
In October 2023, President Bola Tinubu formally launched a conditional cash transfer scheme targeted at 15 million households nationwide billed to receive N75,000 within three months, which is October to December 2023 (totalling N1.13 trillion for the period)
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, said 61 million Nigerians stand to benefit from the scheme every month in October, November and December.
She said, “So in total, 15 million households will receive 75,000 Naira over three months. This equates to about 61 million Nigerians benefiting from the conditional cash transfer.”
Justifying the palliative, World Bank Country Representative, Shubham Chaudhuri, confirmed that cash transfers are widely applicable to reducing poverty.
“This aid is crucial in helping them overcome the initial period during which they might otherwise be compelled to make decisions with long-term consequences”, he stated.
However, it was learnt that the programme is yet to commence despite Nigerians battling inflation, which stood at 27.33 per cent in October.