43 million Nigerians excluded from Buhari’s cash transfer – Report

Bisola David
Bisola David
43 million Nigerians excluded from Buhari's cash transfer - Report

Since the Federal Government’s N5,000 monthly cash transfer program started in 2016, no less than 42.69 million poor Nigerians have been left out.

Only 19.4% of Nigerians benefited from the plan, according to information provided by the World Bank in the June 2023 issue of the Nigeria Development Update.

Only roughly 40.21 million Nigerians received benefits from the cash transfer system, despite the country’s projected population of 207.25 million.

The Washington-based bank reported that by the end of 2022, over 40% of Nigerians (82.9 million people) were living below the poverty line.

According to the bank, the majority of Nigerians are either impoverished or economically insecure, and they are only one shock away from becoming poor.

The federal government’s cash transfer program did not assist 42.69 million impoverished people, according to the poverty rate.

Despite the exclusion, the lending bank reported that between January and May, four million more Nigerians fell into poverty due to rising inflation.

It had been predicted that 7.1 million impoverished Nigerians would fall into poverty as a result of the recent elimination of fuel subsidies if the federal government did not pay them or offer them relief.

According to the World Bank, Nigeria’s government is not investing enough to combat poverty and safeguard its citizens.

The bank’s NDU assessment also revealed that “the bulk of the population lacks protection to appropriately cope with shocks financially while being exposed to frequent recent shocks.

“Nigeria spent under 0.7% of its GDP on social safety nets in 2021. This is much below the average for lower-middle-income nations and Sub-Saharan Africa and lower-middle-income countries of 1.2 percent and the global average of 1.5 percent.

As a result, only 19.4% of Nigerians received any benefits from safety net programs, compared to 25% in the area and 41% internationally.

“Benefit levels are still insufficient to keep households out of poverty, even among those who are insured.

“Nigeria must therefore swiftly and thoroughly increase the scope and effectiveness of its social protection schemes to help households better withstand impending shocks.”

The bank added that Nigeria had the infrastructure and capacity to provide the help required.

“Nigeria has the infrastructure and the capacity to provide immediate assistance on a large scale,” it was stated.

This entails creating social registries that can be used to choose which homes receive assistance as well as a strong payment system that can distribute cash transfers in a secure, dependable, and safe manner.

The World Bank stated this in regard to expansion: “Building on prior progress in extending social protection to the poor and vulnerable, the government can take advantage of the phase-out of the petrol subsidy to form a new social contract with Nigerians.

“Creating a redistribution system that allocates some of the financial savings to safeguard lower-income households could minimize the negative impact on consumer welfare.”

The managing director of Cowry Asset Management Limited asserted that for simple confirmation, the government must be open and make the database available to all.

He asserted, “The government must maintain a registry, and that registration must be accessible to the general public. So that individuals can really visit that register and verify the veracity of the persons in it, it ought to be divided into states, local governments, and districts.

“By doing it this way, you have real people who are in need in that register. It just depends on how transparent and open the government is with the register.”

A former leader of the National Accountants of Nigeria, Dr. Sam Nzekwe, emphasized the necessity of reliable data to ensure that genuine poor people are the major beneficiaries.

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