The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved $288.5 loan for Nigeria.
The fund is to help Africa’s most populous nation fight the coronavirus pandemic.
AfDB Communications and External Relations Department made this known in a statement on Friday.
The bank announced that it had instituted “strong fiduciary measures” to monitor spendings and will maintain dialogue with the Office of the Auditor General in Nigeria, to ensure transparency and accountability
The fund was approved to boost Nigeria’s surveillance and response to COVID-19 emergencies, ease the impact on Nigerians and businesses.
AfDB said the country faces twin crises of a health epidemic caused by coronavirus and an economic crunch largely occasioned by fallen oil price.
Ebrima Faal, Senior Director of the Bank for Nigeria, said about 40.1 per cent of Nigerians live below the poverty line of 1.90 dollars per day
The bank said before the COVID-19 outbreak, Nigeria’s economy was projected to grow by 2.9 per cent of GDP in 2020 and further expand by 3.3 per cent in 2021.
Now, the economy is expected to shrink by between 4.4 percent under a conservative baseline scenario, and 7.2 percent should the pandemic persist to end-2020.
Faal expressed confidence that the intervention will ensure that “the fiscal position and the economy are sufficiently supported to weather the COVID-19 shocks, thereby limiting its potential adverse impact on livelihoods and the economy more generally”.