Nigeria’s request for a $1.5billion loan from the World Bank would be decided upon in July according to the world’s financial body.

The loan is aimed at supporting the country’s fight against coronavirus.

According to the Bank’s country director, it is working on packages that could provide more than $3billion to Africa’s largest economy, which is facing what the lender says may be its greatest fiscal crisis in 40 years, set off by the coronavirus pandemic and resulting oil price crash.

Country Director, Shubham Chaudhuri, said: “We were hoping to present to our board by late July or latest early August, because the government will need the finance. The immediate challenge is a fiscal one: How does the government marshal the fiscal resources to keep basic government functions going?”

According to Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, the economy could shrink by as much as 8.9 per cent this year. But the World Bank projects a shrink by between 3.2per cent and eight per cent.

Nigeria’s oil revenues could fall by a third or possibly more than half, said Chaudhuri.

However, World Bank’s lead economist on Nigeria, Marco Hernandez, said even if the outbreak were contained, the situation was “unprecedented, shocking.”

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