The International Monetary Fund has responded to Nigeria’s funding request of $3.4bn. The fund, as was reported by Financial Street, would be deployed to support the implementation of the 2020 budget.
The country’s Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, who also doubles as the Chairman of the Special Ministerial Taskforce on COVID-19, Zainab Ahmed, had, during a media briefing in Abuja on Monday, disclosed a fresh loan request by the government.
Ahmed had said during the briefing that the government was continuing its engagement with the international organisation “to draw from our existing holdings.”
And in a swift response, the Managing Director of IMF, Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, stated on its website: “Nigeria’s economy is being threatened by the twin shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated sharp fall in international oil prices. President (Muhammadu) Buhari’s administration is taking a number of measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus and its impact, including by swiftly releasing contingency funds to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and working on an economic stimulus package that will help provide relief for households and businesses impacted by the downturn.”
Ms. Georgieva also stated that the financial assistance requested by the government would help Africa’s most populous country in addressing pressing budgetary needs.
“To support these efforts, Nigeria’s government has requested financial assistance under the Fund’s Rapid Financing Instrument. This emergency financing would allow the government to address additional and urgent balance of payments needs and support policies that would make it possible to direct funds for priority health expenditures and protect the most vulnerable people and firms. We are working hard to respond to this request, so that a proposal can be considered by the IMF’s Executive Board as soon as possible,” she submitted.
Following the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and Nigeria’s shrinking revenue arising from sharp drop in oil prices globally, the budget implementation for this year is under serious threat.
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