World Bank Commences Release Of $300m Palliative Loans

By Clement Alphonsus

The World Bank has started the disbursement of the $800m approved for the National Social Safety Net Program-Scale Up.

It was learnt on Wednesday that the bank has disbursed about $299.99 million to Nigeria under the National Social Safety Net Programme-Scale Up approved by the World Bank on December 16, 2021.

This was disclosed in a documents obtained from the World Bank confirming the payment stating that the disbursement was made recently.

The Federal Government plans for this loan is to run a monthly cash transfer programme for poor and vulnerable Nigerians, who have been hit hard by recent policies, such as the fuel subsidy removal.

The promised conditional cash transfer programme targeted at 15 million households nationwide billed to receive N75, 000 within three months was formally launched in October 2023, by President Bola Tinubu.

The document explained that the Federal Government is currently seeking the services of a consulting firm to help with the upgrade of the system for the cash transfer programme.

According to the document, “The Federal Republic of Nigeria has received financing from the World Bank toward the cost of the National Cash Transfer Office under the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs & Poverty Alleviation and implementing agency of the Client and intends to apply part of the proceeds toward payments under the contract for Upgrade of MIS for NASSP-SU.

“The consulting services (“the Upgrade of MIS for NASSP-SU”) include carrying out the development, implementation, deployment, and maintenance of a user-friendly, interactive, web-based MIS System to support the activities of NASSP – -SU of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for effective and efficient delivery of Programme benefits to the Poor and Vulnerable. For the estimated level of effort (professional staff months) as contained in the TOR, for an implementation period of 120 days plus warranty and after-sales service; the expected start date of assignment, should be in the next three months from the advert date.”

According to a correspondent, the financing agreement document for the National Social Safety Net Program-Scale Up between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the International Development Association of the World Bank showed that the repayment will be made in installments, with the first payment due on January 15, 2027, and the last payment due on July 15, 2051.

It also noted that the $800m loan obtained by the Federal Government involves a maximum commitment charge rate of one-half of one per cent per annum on the Unwithdrawn Financing Balance and a service charge of three-fourths of one per cent per annum on the withdrawn credit balance.