The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed disclosed that Nigeria is seeking a $750 million loan from the World Bank to help combat the effects of the pandemic on Nigeria’s economy.
This was reported by Channels TV after the Minister attended the inauguration of the Federal Steering Committees of the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (N-CARES) program in Abuja on Friday.
Nairametrics reported in August that the World Bank approved the sum of $114 million to assist Nigeria in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
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According to a statement, the funds came in the form of a $100 million credit facility from the International Development Association (IDA) and $14 million grant from the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility.
The World Bank, in its report for October 2020, titled “Charting the road to recovery,” warned Nigeria and other Africans not to relax despite recording lower cases and mortality rates compared to other regions of the world.
The Minister warned on Friday that Nigeria must develop plans to lift herself from the economic effects of the pandemic or face consequences.
“As part of windows of opportunity to mitigate the effect of Covid-19, the Federal Government is in the process of accessing a World Bank loan of 750 million dollars on behalf of the states to stimulate the local economy and support vulnerable household’s consumption,” she said.
“The consequences will be too high if we ignore the root cause of rising civil unrest in our country. We must, therefore, fashion out ways of ensuring that post-Covid-19 is not injurious to the Nigerian people and the economy.”
She added that members of the newly inaugurated committee were selected because the MDAs have an important role in lifting the economy back to prosperity, as Nigeria’s population is too large to remain under poverty.
“Members of the Federal Steering and Technical Committees because of the important role MDAs play in the recovery of the Nigerian economy as well as the fulfillment of lifting 100 million people out of poverty.
“The inauguration of the committees is expedient given the nature of this emergency intervention; Nigeria as the biggest economy in Africa cannot afford to remain in recession; the survival of over 200 million population is germane to all we do and we must address the concerns of the majority of our populace,” she said.
The World Bank announced plans in September for a $12 billion coronavirus financing initiative that will help poor and developing countries purchase enough Covid-19 vaccine doses to treat up to 2 billion people as soon as they become available in the coming months.