The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund are sitting today, Tuesday and there are indications that Nigeria’s loan request of $3.4 billion may be approved.
This is 3 weeks after Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Ahmed Zainab announced that the Federal Government had applied for a loan to the IMF.
However, she had said on April 6, that it would take the Fund 6 to 12 weeks to approve the loan.
Sources have said that about 102 countries have already applied for loans at the Fund in the wake of this pandemic and if Nigeria’s request is granted, it would be one if the highest the IMF would have dished out to an African country.
Nigeria is hoping to use the money to help cushion the effect of the dual enemies of the COVID-19 and the fall in global oil prices.
The IMF Boss Kristalina Georgieva while speaking on the loan request said that the IMF was looking into it, and also noted that, “Nigeria’s economy is being threatened by the twin shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated sharp fall in international oil prices.”
The IMF boss also observed that the Federal Government had initiated a number of measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus and its impact.
The measures, according to Georgieva, include swift release of contingency funds to Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
She added that the Nigerian government was working on an economic stimulus package that would help provide relief for households and businesses impacted by the downturn.