The federal government says it will make “judicious use” of the $3.4 billion loan request recently approved by the International Monetary Fund.
Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, stated this on Thursday via Twitter.
The IMF executive board approved the release of the fund to help Nigeria address the severe economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the sharp fall of oil prices.
The minister on Thursday assured that every kobo from the facility would be accounted for while commending the support of the global financial institution.
She noted that the facility would provide financing to Nigeria’s budget, especially on health response in the ongoing fight against coronavirus.
She said, “We appreciate the IMF for its timely response meant to assist us to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our human population. Nigeria will certainly make judicious use and prudent management of the facility.
“These are trying times and every line item must count from this IMF facility. We will also continue to welcome and commend the Fund for its strong, and forward-looking commitment to support developing countries’ efforts to restart their economies.
“The IMF financial support will help limit the decline in international reserves and provide financing to the budget for targeted and temporary spending increases aimed at containing and mitigating the economic impact of the pandemic and of the sharp fall in international oil prices.
“The short-term focus on fiscal accommodation would allow for higher health spending and help alleviate the impact of the crisis on households and businesses.”
According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Wednesday night, the country has recorded 1728 COVID-19 infections with over 50 fatalities in almost all its 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja.