In a significant development, the World Bank has disbursed approximately $299.99 million to Nigeria under the National Social Safety Net Programme-Scale Up.
This disbursement is part of the $800 million approved for the program on December 16, 2021.
Documents obtained from the World Bank confirm that this recent payment marks the initiation of the financial support for the National Social Safety Net Program-Scale Up. With 37.5% of the total loan disbursed, there remains a pending balance of about $442.88 million.
The $800 million social safety net program aims to implement a conditional cash transfer, orchestrated by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs & Poverty Alleviation.
This initiative comes as the Federal Government plans to execute a monthly cash transfer program for poor and vulnerable Nigerians, particularly those adversely affected by recent policies such as the fuel subsidy removal.
In a move to fulfill this commitment, President Bola Tinubu officially launched the conditional cash transfer program in October 2023.
The program targets 15 million households nationwide, offering them a monthly cash transfer of N75,000 within three months.
To facilitate the smooth operation of the cash transfer program, the Federal Government is actively seeking the services of a consulting firm for the upgrade of the Management Information System (MIS).
This upgrade is deemed necessary as the National Economic Council decided not to use the social register from the previous administration due to credibility concerns.
The financing agreement document between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the International Development Association of the World Bank outlines the repayment plan. Repayments will be made in installments, starting on January 15, 2027, and concluding on July 15, 2051.
The financial terms of the $800 million loan include a maximum commitment charge rate of one-half of one per cent per annum on the Unwithdrawn Financing Balance.
Additionally, a service charge of three-fourths of one per cent per annum is applied to the withdrawn credit balance, with an interest charge of one and a quarter per cent per annum on the same balance.
As part of the repayment structure, a percentage of the principal amount of the loan will be included, increasing over time. The first payment is set at 1.65 per cent of the principal amount, while the final payment will be 3.40 per cent.
The Federal Government remains committed to utilizing these funds effectively to support vulnerable populations and alleviate poverty nationwide.
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