The board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has approved the sum of $3.4billion to support Nigeria’s COVID-19 fight. The grant to Nigeria is the highest so far to any member country.
The grant called Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) is granted to member countries that are not under an IMF programme.
The news was announced on Twitter by a former African Development Bank Former AfDB Lead Economist on Nigeria, Barbara Barungi.
Barungi went on to congratulate Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, on the feat.
The loan by the IMF is part of measures to cushion the impact of COVID-19 on Nigeria’s economy.
Recall that the Nigerian government negotiated a 5-year financing aid of $3.4 billion from the IMF recently.
With an oil-dependent economy, Nigeria is suffering a sharp decline in its 2020 growth perspective following the crash in oil prices and the closure of borders that slowed down trade on the international market.
President Muhammadu Buhari
The country, which is just recovering from a long sluggish period will experience a contraction by 3.4% this year, according to the IMF.
A few days ago, Ghana secured a record $1 billion from the IMF to deal with the pandemic.
In his nationwide address to Nigerians on Monday, April 27, President Muhammadu Buhari had stated that Nigeria has been receiving support from the international community, multilateral agencies, the private sector and public-spirited individuals since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.
“This support has ensured that critical lifesaving equipment and materials, which have become scarce globally, are available for Nigeria through original equipment manufacturers and government-to-government processes,” the president said.
Some Nigerian groups had warned the IMF not to give the loan to the country, but it is obvious they have been ignored by the global body.