The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a $288.5 million loan to help Nigeria tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and ease its impact on citizens and the economy.
In a statement by the Bank on Friday, the facility will strengthen the Federal Government’s plans to improve surveillance and response to COVID-19 emergencies and strengthen the social protection system.
Ebrima Faal, AfDB Senior Director for Nigeria, said, “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 noted 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 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,” Faal added.
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.
Over 11,500 coronavirus cases including more than 3,500 recoveries and over 300 associated deaths have been recorded in the country.