The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has confirmed it has granted Nigeria’s request for a $3.4bn emergency financial assistance to be used in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Federal Government said it will use the funds, which was approved under the Rapid Financing Instrument by the Executive Board of the IMF on April 28, to address challenges arising from the economic impact of the COVID -19 in the country.
IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, reportedly told CNBC Africa on Tuesday that the $3.4bn had been credited to the account of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The IMF chief stressed the need for transparency and accountability in the management of the funds.
The Federal Government had assured that it will publicize all disbursements from the funds, and there are plans to conduct an independent audit of all emergency expenditure at the end of the pandemic.
The government also agreed to allow the IMF to conduct a due diligence exercise on the CBN, in line with the Fund’s safeguards assessment program.
Georgieva reportedly explained that Nigeria has met and exceeded the safeguards for the disbursement of the funds.
According to her, the money was sent to the CBN’s account in dollars, after which it would be converted to naira.
“We have already disbursed. In emergency assistance, the board approves, we disburse within days to the country and it goes to their central bank in dollars before it gets converted into naira in the case of Nigeria. “The conditions are quite favorable”.
“Repayment period is five years, up to two and half years is grace period and the interest on the loan is one per cent,” she said.
Georgieva, in the same vein, said IMF will continue to support Nigeria and other member countries.
“We have put in place policy tracking action, and we are seeing progress each country is making.
“The IMF will continue to support countries and shield them from catastrophic implications of the COVID-19 crisis,” she said.