Millions to benefit from World Bank $500m loanFrom OKORO CHINEDU in Lagos, Nigeria
LAGOS, (CAJ News) – UP to up to 5 million people, among the poorest and most vulnerable in Nigeria, are poised to benefit from a $500 million International Development Association (IDA) credit approved by the World Bank.
World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved the loan, which comes as a major boost to the country amid a sharp drop in oil revenues that has shrunk its budget significantly.
The federal government of Nigeria is investing in social protection to help mitigate the effect of the economic slowdown on the poor.
“The fact that the Government of Nigeria is dedicating a significant chunk of its budget to social protection in challenging economic times is commendable,” said Rachid Benmessaoud, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria.
“Of key importance is the setup of an electronic national registry of poor and vulnerable households, using state-of-the art methodologies to target those who need it the most,” he added.
The National Social Safety Nets Project will support the Government’s program by providing cash transfers to poor households throughout Nigeria, identified through a combination of geographical and community-based targeting.
Each targeted household will receive a base transfer of N5 000 ($25 per month), and households among the most vulnerable will be eligible for an additional monthly benefit of N5 000 a month via conditional cash transfers.
Camilla Holmemo, World Bank Task Team Leader for the project, said Nigeria’s investments in safety nets and targeted cash transfers were designed to increase consumption and protect the poorest against economic shocks, while stimulating demand for health, nutrition and education services.
“Social protection can have a significant impact on poverty reduction, both through the immediate effects of the transfers and the longer term investments in human and productive capital of targeted households,” she added.
– CAJ News
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