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Finance

IMF Board Set to Approve Nigeria’s $3.4 billion Emergency Fund Request

The staff of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will recommend that Nigeria’s $3.4 billion request for financial aid be approved.

A report by Bloomberg on Friday is quoting two people with direct knowledge of the plan. The IMF board is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, April 28, to decide on Nigeria’s request. Nigeria had requested for $3.4 billion from the global lender to help deal with a revenue shortfall caused by a drop in crude oil prices on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic that has led to reduced demand.

The pandemic is said to have wiped out at least 30% of global oil demand which led to a supply glut and a dip in crude oil prices. Nigeria’s request was made under the rapid financing instrument, which is a short-term facility that does not come with the conditions of a full program.

The aid would have to be repaid within a maximum period of five years.

If approved, the facility would be the largest to be granted to an African country so far during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kristalina Georgieva, IMF managing director, had said requests from sub-Saharan African countries would be prioritized.

According to Georgieva, 102 countries have requested for aid from the IMF, and funds have been disbursed to 15 countries “in a record short time”.

The IMF has also assured members that it is ready to deploy its full $1 trillion lending capacity to help countries through the wave of instability caused by the pandemic.

Ghana, a neighbouring West African country, received $1 billion from the IMF to help stabilize its economy during and after the pandemic.

Nigeria is also requesting additional funding from the African Development Bank and the World Bank.

Source: The Cable

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