Breaking: COVID-19: IMF approves Nigeria’s request for $3.4bn

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), on Tuesday, approved US$3.4 billion emergency financial assistance for Nigeria to fight coronavirus.

The Executive Board approved Nigeria’s request under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI).

The IMF explained that the near-term economic impact of COVID-19 is expected to be severe, while already high downside risks have increased.

It noted that even before the COVID- 19 outbreak, Nigeria’s economy was facing headwinds from rising external vulnerabilities and falling per capita GDP levels.

The world body added that the pandemic – along with the sharp fall in oil prices – has magnified the vulnerabilities, leading to a historic decline in growth and large financing needs.

The IMF said it remains closely engaged with the Nigerian authorities and stands ready to provide policy advice and further support, as needed.

Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, in a statement said, “The COVID-19 outbreak – magnified by the sharp fall in international oil prices and reduced global demand for oil products – is severely impacting economic activity in Nigeria.

“These shocks have created large external and financing needs for 2020. Additional decline in oil prices and more protracted containment measures would seriously affect the real and financial sectors and strain the country’s financing.

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