by Chris Nwafor, BIEN Africa Hub Manager
The current move by the Federal Government in Nigeria to pay 12 million poor households N8,000 naira (aprox. $12) per household monthly has caught media attention. Many consider it far removed from economic realities, as the proposed amount cannot feed a child in one month, with others questioning the method used for selection and requirements for beneficiaries (Vanguard Newspaper, 13 July 2023). Comments from Sahara Reporters (an online news source) consider the policy to be economically unwise, with suspicions of a ploy by the ruling party to compensate its members at the grassroots. According to government sources, the amount will be used to scale up the national social safety net programme from a new borrowing sourced from the World Bank. To address the issues and guarantee the credibility of the process, digital transfers will be made directly to beneficiaries’ accounts and mobile wallets.