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Hardship: FG’s Cash Transfer Program Has Not Solved Unemployment, Household Consumption Problems – World Bank

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A recent study by the World Bank has raised concerns about the effectiveness of the Federal Government’s Conditional Cash Transfer program initiated in 2016, particularly in enhancing household consumption, financial inclusion, and employment among women.

Naija News reports that the study, conducted by the Bretton Woods Institute, has revealed that while the program has succeeded in certain areas, such as increasing household savings and food security, it falls short in achieving its broader economic empowerment goals.

The findings indicate that there is “no statistical evidence” that the program has fostered financial inclusion among its beneficiaries or significantly affected the overall household consumption or employment rates of caregivers, particularly women.

The report stated, “The limited impacts on household consumption and women’s employment suggest that there is remaining scope for a complementary livelihood support intervention to generate sustainable improvements in households’ self-sufficiency.”

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This suggests a gap between the cash transfer program’s objectives and its actual outcomes, prompting the World Bank to recommend additional livelihood support measures to enhance the program’s effectiveness.

Despite these criticisms, the report did highlight several positive outcomes of the cash transfer initiative. Notably, beneficiary households reported improvements in autonomy over decision-making and freedom of movement, as well as an increase in happiness among caregivers.

There was also a noted trend toward greater savings and less reliance on using income solely for immediate household consumption, indicating a shift towards more sustainable financial behaviors.

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The report added, “These findings underscore the complexity of addressing poverty and economic empowerment through cash transfers alone.”

The report emphasised the need for a more holistic approach that combines immediate financial support with long-term livelihood and employment interventions.