The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $288.5 million loan to help Nigeria tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its impact on people and businesses.
A statement by the bank’s board on friday said the approval of the loan will help bolster 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.
“The loan is the Bank’s initial response to help mitigate the slump in oil prices and its impact on the national economy.
According to Ebrima Faal, Senior Director of the African Development Bank for Nigeria ,beyond the country’s immediate economic recovery needs, the Bank and other development partners will dialogue with FG on proposals for medium-term structural reforms to diversify and boost domestic revenues away from the oil sector.
“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,” Faal said.
He added that 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 in Nigeria, to ensure adherence to the transparency and accountability of the funds.
The Bank said the intervention aligns with its COVID-19 Response Facility; Ten-Year Strategy (2013-2022); and High 5 priorities, especially “Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa”.
It said the facility is also consistent with the second strategic pillar of its recently approved Country Strategy Paper 2020-2024 for Nigeria.