Nigeria to Raise N3.2 Trillion to Combat COVID-19 Pandemic

Savings, money.

The federal government said it is working to raise N3.2 trillion to finance the battle against the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/ZShamsuna">Zainab Ahmed</a>, disclosed this in Abuja on Monday at the formal launching of the N500 billion fiscal stimulus measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Details of the funding, the minister said, include a total of $7.05 billion (about N2.68 trillion at N380 to the dollar), jn addition to the N500 billion stimulus package by the federal government.

The minister said Nigeria has already applied for about $3.4 billion as a rapid credit loan facility from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to support its economic stimulus to its economy ravaged by Coronavirus pandemic.

She said following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has ravaged the global economy, the IMF approved for its member-nations to request for a rapid credit facility to the limit of their contribution to the Fund.

Mrs Ahmed said Nigeria resolved to apply for 100 per cent of its contribution to the Fund to augment the support from other multilateral organisations to combat the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

The money, the minister clarified, does not attract any conditionality to any of the 80 countries that have so far put in requests for the credit facility.

Apart from the loan facility from the IMF, the minister said Nigeria has also requested for similar credit facilities from the World Bank ($2.5 billion), and $1 billion from the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Another $150 million is being expected from the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) to be drawn from the Stabilization Fund.

On when all the monies are expected to come in, the minister said: "The fastest we expect to come in is the credit from the IMF, within a minimum of six weeks, since a decision had already been taken to give out the money."

She said that monies from the World Bank and the AfDB are expected to come in between two or three months.

On the details of the N500 billion COVID-19 crisis intervention fund, the minister said it will involve drawing the much needed cash resources from various special funds and accounts in consultation with the National Assembly and based on the latter's approval.

She said the fund will be utilised in the upgrade of healthcare facilities as identified by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and approved by the president.

The fund will also be used to finance the federal government's intervention to support states in improving healthcare facilities and finance the creation of a special public works programme to create about 1000 jobs in each of the 774 local government areas in the country.

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