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Africa News of Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Source: bbc.com

IMF approves $3.4bn coronavirus aid to 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 will 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 (£1.8bn) 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 recently crashed to around $20 further putting the largest African oil producer in uncertainty.

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