Shock Value

Shock Value

The Nigerian economy, like any other, experiences “shocks”— events or policy decisions that can send a ripple of changes through the system. This column zooms in on these ripples in a range of sectors to explore how and why these shocks matter.

***

Free Money for the Poor

Ebehi Iyoha

Ebehi Iyoha

Ebehi is an avid reader seeking insights in unexpected places. Her research interests include economic development, political economy and trade.

As President Buhari approaches his first 100 days in office, many are closely watching to see whether he will live up to his manifesto. Which grand plans will be fulfilled, and which will be jettisoned like so many other campaign promises? Thanks to Vice-President Osinbajo, we now know at leads one item in the former category — the creation of a social welfare program that will give the poorest Nigerians ₦5000 each month upon demonstration of children's enrolment in school and evidence of immunisation. Beneficiaries will be those who earn ₦200 or less a day.

How much does ₦5,000 cost? 

According to the VP, the proposed programme will benefit 25 million Nigerians, but is likely to be phased in with batches of 5 million people each year. In the first year, this will amount to ₦300 billion (₦5000 x 5 million people x 12 months). Assuming that beneficiaries will receive money for more than one years, add 5 million more beneficiaries in year 2 (plus the original 5 million people) and you get ₦600 billion.

...
Read More