The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $288.5 million loan for Nigeria to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its impact on people and businesses.
The loan, according to the bank, will bolster the government’s plans to improve surveillance and response to COVID-19 emergencies, ease the impact on workers and businesses and strengthen the social protection system, a statement from the bank said yesterday.
The loan is the bank’s initial response to help mitigate the slump in oil prices and its impact on the Nigerian economy.
“The proposed program 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,” Ebrima Faal, the Senior Director of the bank in Nigeria said.
Faal said beyond the country’s immediate economic recovery needs, the bank and other development partners would dialogue with the government on proposals for medium-term structural reforms to diversify and boost domestic revenues from the oil sector.
The bank has instituted strong fiduciary measures to monitor the use of COVID-19 funds, and will maintain dialogue, particularly with the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation to ensure adherence to the transparency and accountability of the funds, Faal said.