Nigeria to receive $3.4bn IMF bailout for covid-19 by end of April
London, April 28, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Nigerian government is to receive a $3.4bn bailout it sought from the International Monetary Fund, IMF by the end of April to help the West African country fight rampaging coronavirus pandemic in the country
Nigeria on Monday recorded 64 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing the country’s total infections to 1337, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
64 new cases of #COVID19 reported;— NCDC (@NCDCgov) April 27, 2020
As at 11:20pm 27th April- 1337 confirmed cases of #COVID19 reported in Nigeria.
Deaths: 40 pic.twitter.com/52JZFejvG8
Managing Director IMF, Kristalina Georgieva said on Monday that she expected the Fund to have provided Nigeria with significant emergency financing by the end of April, signalling likely IMF board approval for the oil exporter’s $3.4 billion request.
IMF has approved similar bailout requests for several countries including Nigeria’s neighbour Ghana which received $1bn
According to Reuters, the IMF’s board is scheduled to meet over the request on Tuesday with higher probability of overwhelming positive response
“We are working very rapidly to provide a significant emergency financing to Nigeria,” Georgieva said on a webcast held by the Atlantic Council. “I expect this to be done by the end of the month.”
If approved, the loan would be among the largest allocations by the IMF to an African country in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
According to the IMF, about 102 countries applied for aid as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, had in a statement on April 7 said the organisation was working hard to respond to the request as soon as possible.
Georgieva noted, “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.
The organisation has also said Nigeria and other African countries need an estimated sum of $114bn to fund the campaign against the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in the continent.
The Federal Government is hoping on the IMF credit, and similar loan requests from the World Bank and the African Development Bank, to cushion the effects of the pandemic on the country’s economy.
The novel coronavirus has claimed 208,973 lives since its outbreak in China in December with over three million people now infected globally according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1900 GMT on Monday.