The National Social Safety-Net Coordinating Office (NASSCO) was established in 2016 by the Government of Nigeria in partnership with the World Bank to strengthen social safety nets and social protection system in Nigeria as a core strategy to help end extreme poverty and to promote shared prosperity. The core mandate of NASSCO therefore is to lay a strong foundation of rigorous and reliable evidence of poor and vulnerable households in Nigeria, by building a National Social Register (NSR), as well as coordinate, refine and integrate the social safety-net programs into social protection systems, while ensuring policy coherence.
Social safety-nets are part of broader social protection systems comprising non-contributory transfers in cash or in kind, designed to provide support for the poor and vulnerable. Social safety-nets play a number of important roles. For example, they help alleviate poverty, food insecurity, and malnutrition; they contribute by reducing inequality and boosting shared prosperity; they support households in coping with shocks; they help build human capital and connect people to job opportunities; and they are an important factor in shaping social contract between the government and citizens.
In Nigeria the flagship programs that are targeted to help the poor and vulnerable include: the National Cash Transfer Office (NCTO), implementing cash transfers to targeted vulnerable households; Youth Empowerment and Social Support Operations (YESSO), supporting vulnerable youths with life skills trainings, grants and reorientation; and the Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) providing grants to boost the development agenda of vulnerable communities. These programs were encapsulated in the Government of Nigeria National Social Safety Nets Project (NASSP).