International Monetary Fund IMF, Board has approved Nigeria’s request for $3.4 billion in emergency financial assistance under the fund’s Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI).
The emergency support for Nigeria is to address the severe impact of the COVID-19.
The $3.4bn loan represents the total special drawing right (SDR) Nigeria holds with the international lender.
The amount from IMF is part of $6.9bn loan Nigeria is seeking from international lenders to enhance its efforts to tackle the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the government revenue and the economy in general.
In addition to the IMF loan, Nigeria is seeking $2.5 billion loan from the World Bank, and $1 billion from the African Development Bank.
The Washington-based institution disclosed this in a statement by its Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa.
The multilateral institution pointed out that the COVID-19 outbreak had magnified existing vulnerabilities, leading to a historic contraction in Nigeria’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and to large external and fiscal financing needs.
He advised the federal government that once the COVID-19 crisis passes, the focus should remain on medium-term macroeconomic stability, with revenue-based fiscal consolidation essential to keep the country’s debt sustainable and create fiscal space for priority spending.
IMF said it remained closely engaged with the Nigerian authorities and was ready to provide policy advice and further support whenever required by the country.
Nigeria Senate yesterday returned from a five-week break to speedily approve the N850 billion local loan request by President Muhammadu Buhari to fund critical capital projects in the 2020 budget after which the lawmakers adjourned indefinitely.