By Omobayo Azeez
Following a recent approval by the board of International Monetary Fund (IMF), Nigeria has received the sum of $3.4 billion disbursed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) by the IMF.
This was disclosed by Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of IMF, during an interview with CNBC Africa, on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.
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This emergency fund, which is a Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI), was approved by the IMF on April 28, 2020, to help Nigeria mitigate the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic and also to sort out balance of payment issues.
In her statement, the IMF boss said, “We have already disbursed the money to Nigeria. In emergency assistance, once the board approves, we disburse within days to the country and it goes to the Central Bank in dollars before it’s converted to naira for the Federal Government’s use.”
“The conditions are quite favourable. The repayment period is five years, up to two and half years is a grace period and the interest on the loan is 1 per cent,” she added.
Georgieva said that there was a need for all receivers of the emergency funds in Nigeria to keep receipts of expenditure.
She stressed that Nigerians should demand accountability from its leaders in the spending of the emergency funds.
According to her, the funds could not afford to have credibility and accountability take the back seat in the course of the coronavirus crisis.
Going further, she said that Nigeria had already met and exceeded the safeguards for disbursement of the funds.
This loan is the single largest disbursement by the Bretton Woods institution to any country that has been ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.
To confirm the receipt of the money and proposed modality for its disbursement by the Nigeria’s apex bank, business A.M put calls through to Isaac Okoroafor, CBN’s director of corporate communications, who however, neither answer the calls nor return them.