The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reported that debt service relief has been approved to 25 countries.
Kristalina Georgieva, IMF boss, in a statement put the figure at $500million.
She stated that the Executive Board sanctioned the approval under the IMF’s revamped Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT) amid part of the Fund’s response to help curtail the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This provides grants to our poorest and most vulnerable members to cover their IMF debt obligations for an initial phase over the next six months and will help them channel more of their scarce financial resources towards vital emergency medical and other relief efforts.
“The CCRT can currently provide about US$500 million in grant-based debt service relief, including the recent US$185 million pledge by the U.K. and US$100 million provided by Japan as immediately available resources.
“Others, including China and the Netherlands, are also stepping forward with important contributions. I urge other donors to help us replenish the Trust’s resources and boost further our ability to provide additional debt service relief for a full two years to our poorest member countries”, Georgieva noted.
The beneficiary-countries listed as follows, Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, D.R., The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Togo, and Yemen.
Nigeria has a production capacity of 2,5 million barrels of crude oil per day, and is the largest oil producer in Africa.
The most populous nation on the continent is also the sixth largest oil producer in the globe.
Notwithstanding this, the country is still begging for support from foreign organisations.
For decades, Nigerians have blame corruption for the prevalence of poverty, unaccountably, lack of transparency, the size of government and the extravagance of officials.
Just last week, the federal government confirmed it had applied for an IMF and African Development Bank (AfDB) offer of $3.5billion to finance the 2020 budget.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, stated that a $2.5billion request to the IMF was on behalf of the states and federal government, while $1billion is being expected from AfDB.
She revealed that the IMF COVID-19 Rapid Credit Facility would be drawn from Nigeria’s existing holdings with the World Bank Group and IMF.
The minister maintained that Nigeria did not intend to negotiate or enter into a formal programme with the IMF at this time or the nearest future.
Ahmed also added that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had access to a Regional Disease Surveillance Systems (REDISSE) facility from the World Bank in the sum of $90million.
$8million was earmarked for coronavirus combat, as the country demanded to draw on the $82million remaining balance in full.