ABSTRACT: This paper examines the political economy of the conditional cash transfer (CCT) Scheme in Nigeria within the context of poverty reduction efforts over the years. The concept, dimensions and some theoretical explanations for poverty are once again revisited. The nature and operation of condition cash transfer is examined, with an eye on the economics and politics of this scheme. Authors observe that as a social redistribution programme, CCT is a potent safety net that could really help to break the cycle of poverty among the very poor in the country. However, within the Nigerian context, the paper observes that the issues of a clear cut target, beneficiaries, lack of institution framework, including a standardized Monitoring and Evaluation (ME) procedure, coupled with the obvious use of the CCT for political expedience all aggregate to dim the possibility, viability and potency of the CCT‟S success in reducing poverty in Nigeria. However suggestions are made against the background of how this programme is being operated elsewhere in the world, as to how to improve the operation of this scheme in the overall matrix of poverty reduction in Nigeria.
KEYWORDS: political economy, conditional cash transfer, poverty reduction, social safety net, income distribution relative poverty, absolute poverty