SWITZERLAND, JUNE 6 – In a bid to help Nigeria tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and ease its impact on citizens and the economy, the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank has approved a $288.5 million loan to strengthen the country’s response.
According to 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.
AfDB Senior Director for Nigeria, Ebrima Faal, 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”.