IMF: Nigeria’s Economy to be ‘Hard Hit’ by COVID-19

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By Obinna Chima and Nume Ekeghe

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said the Nigerian economy falls into the category of economies to be hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To this end, the multilateral institution has advised federal and state governments to roll out more fiscal measures to fight the virus which has continued to spread in the country.

IMF’s Director, Africa Department, Mr. Abebe Selassie, said this on Wednesday, during a press briefing to unveil the ‘IMF Regional Economic Outlook for Sub Saharan Africa,’ at the ongoing World Bank/IMF virtual Spring Meetings in Washington DC, United States.

According to him, while the medium term focus for the federal government would be revenue mobilisation, the immediate focus, now should be how to deploy resources to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the near term, no amount of resources should be spared in putting behind the health crises that Nigeria faces from COVID-19 pandemic. So we see scope for more support of policies.

“In the fiscal side, Nigeria has requested for more support under the Rapid Financing Instrument. This is a quick dispensing resource that government can use to strengthen health spending, to provide social support to people.

“There is also scope for having exchange rate policy framework that will be supportive of the fiscal stance. So we look forward to those policies to be adopted to support Nigeria to put this crisis behind it,” he added.

More details later…