The board of the International Monetary Fund IMF has approved the sum of $3.4 billion to support Nigeria’s COVID-19 fight.
The emergency financial assistance to Nigeria is the highest so far to any member country.
The assistance, facilitated via the Rapid Financing Instrument RFI, will help limit the decline in Nigeria’s international reserves, the IMF said.
It will also help to provide financing for the country’s budget, which has been severely affected by falling oil prices triggered by the pandemic and price wars.
The IMF praised the Nigerian government’s immediate response to the crisis, describing it as welcome development.
However, it noted that short-term focus should be on higher health spending and palliative for households and businesses.
The financial body also said Nigeria should take steps to unify its exchange rate as quickly as possible.
Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair of the IMF, Mr Mitsuhiro Furusawa said that after the COVID-19 crisis passes, Nigeria’s focus should remain on medium-term macroeconomic stability, with revenue-based fiscal consolidation essential to keep Nigeria’s debt sustainable and create fiscal space for priority spending.