The National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO) has said the $800 million facility, secured by the Federal Government from the World Bank, will help cushion the effects of existing social and economic shocks on the most vulnerable Nigerians.

Earlier in the month, Ahmed had said the $800 million received from the bank would be disbursed to the 10 million households considered to be most vulnerable, to cushion the effect of the planned subsidy removal in June.

In a statement, Joe Abuku, head of communications at NASSCO, clarified that the facility would mitigate the impact of economic shocks including COVID-19, inflation, naira redesign cash crunch, flood losses, and petrol subsidy removal.

He said the facility was obtained as part of the national social safety nets programme (NASSP), which aims to increase the government’s response to poor and vulnerable Nigerians facing various types of economic shocks beginning in 2021.

“The context of the NASSP is to provide a safety nets system that allows the government to effectively target and deliver programs to poor households more efficiently,” he said.

Abuku added that the project is set within “the wider realm of the Nigerian national social protection policy, in which social safety nets are part of the broader social assistance system, as provided by the constitution of Nigeria, chapter two, sections 16 and 17”.

The spokesperson said the NASSP scale-up is a follow-up project to the NASSP, which was carried out between June 2016 and December 2022.

He added the $800 million World Bank facility for the NASSP scale-up “demonstrates the federal government’s commitment to social care, social assistance, and is part of the long-term framework for reducing poverty, rolling back the effects of economic shocks, and improving the living standards of poor Nigerians”.

“It will benefit at least 10.2 million poor and vulnerable Nigerian households (in rural and urban poor areas) by way of targeted cash transfers to cushion the effects of existing social and economic shocks (COVID-19, inflation, naira redesign cash crunch, flood losses etc) including the anticipated petrol subsidy removal,” Abuku said