World Bank’s Assessment of the Federal Government’s Cash Transfer Program

The World Bank recently conducted a thorough analysis of the Federal Government’s conditional cash transfer program, initiated in 2016. This program was designed to improve the socio-economic status of the most vulnerable segments of the Nigerian population by providing monthly financial support.

Despite its noble intentions, the World Bank’s findings suggest that the program’s impact on household consumption, financial inclusion, and employment has been minimal, particularly for women.

Key Findings of the World Bank Report

The World Bank’s research highlighted several critical aspects of the Federal Government’s cash transfer program:

Limited Impact on Household Consumption and Employment: The program was expected to boost household consumption and facilitate employment, especially among women. However, the World Bank found no significant evidence that these goals were met. The report clearly states, “We do not find any statistically significant effects on overall household consumption or on caregivers’ employment and financial inclusion.”

Need for Complementary Interventions: Given the limited impact on the primary objectives, the World Bank suggests integrating the cash transfer program with complementary livelihood support interventions. This approach aims to enhance the program’s effectiveness and lead to sustainable improvements in household self-sufficiency.

Positive Outcomes: Despite the challenges, the program did yield some positive results:

  • Increased Household Savings and Food Security: Beneficiaries reported an increase in household savings and enhanced food security.
  • Improved Access to Resources: There was an uptick in access to farmland and livestock.
  • Greater Autonomy and Well-being: Beneficiaries experienced improved autonomy in decision-making and a sense of increased happiness and freedom of movement.

Shift in Spending Behavior: Over time, households receiving cash transfers showed a tendency to save more rather than spending their entire income on immediate household consumption. This shift indicates a positive change in financial behavior and planning among the beneficiaries.

Background of the Program

The National Social Safety Nets Project (NASSP), a collaboration between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the World Bank, was launched in 2016. The initial phase of the program aimed to distribute N5,000 monthly to one million Nigerians as part of a N500 billion social intervention package under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Despite its continuation, the program faced significant challenges, including public scrutiny and allegations of corruption. Notably, under President Tinubu’s administration, the National Economic Council (NEC) questioned the credibility of the social intervention register, leading to intense debates about the program’s transparency and effectiveness.

In 2023, following the removal of the petrol subsidy, the Federal Government secured an $800 million World Bank facility to continue the cash transfers to the most vulnerable Nigerians.


While the World Bank’s report on the Federal Government’s cash transfer program paints a mixed picture, it is clear that while the program has had some successes, significant improvements are needed. The limited impact on key areas like household consumption and women’s employment highlights the need for more robust, multifaceted approaches to social welfare programs. By focusing on complementary interventions and addressing the underlying issues, there is potential to enhance the effectiveness of these initiatives and truly make a difference in the lives of Nigeria’s most vulnerable populations.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What was the main finding of the World Bank regarding the FG’s cash transfer program?

The World Bank found that the program had little effect on household consumption, financial inclusion, or employment, especially for women.

What positive impacts did the program have according to the World Bank?

The program increased household savings, improved food security, and enhanced beneficiaries’ autonomy and well-being.

Why does the World Bank recommend complementary interventions?

To address the limited impacts on consumption and employment and to foster sustainable improvements in household self-sufficiency.

How has the program’s spending behavior changed over time?

Beneficiaries have become more likely to save and less likely to use all their cash on immediate household consumption.

What issues have affected the credibility of the program?

The program has been under scrutiny due to corruption allegations and credibility issues with the social intervention register.

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