International Monetary Fund (IMF) approves $3.4bn coronavirus aid for Nigeria

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved emergency funds to support Nigeria’s efforts to limit the effect of coronavirus pandemic and the sharp fall of oil prices.

The $3.4bn (£2.7bn) approved by the IMF board is the largest financing provided so far to countries hit by the pandemic, the organisation said in a statement.

It said the funds would help Nigeria free up more resources to protect lives and livelihoods.

The announcement was made on the day the Nigerian Senate gave President Muhammadu Buhari the green light to borrow about $2.36bn domestically to plug the country’s 2020 budget gap created by the sharp falls in oil prices.

Nigeria’s economy heavily relies on oil exports and its budget was initially pegged on the expectation of crude oil price of $57 a barrel. It later revised the budget and lowered its expectation to $30 a barrel.

But oil price has recently crashed to around $20 a barrel further putting the largest African oil producer’s finances in uncertainty.

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